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ITV1 is the generic brand, that is used by twelve franchises of the ITV Network in Englandmarker, Walesmarker, the Scottish Borders, the Isle of Manmarker and the Bailiwicks of Jerseymarker and Guernseymarker. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their eleven regional companies. ITV1 replaced these regional brands completely in October 2002, before Granada and Carlton merged to form ITV plc in 2004. The brand is also used by the non-ITV plc owned Channel Television. The ITV1 brand, however, should be distinguished from the UK-wide ITV, of which ITV1 forms a large proportion.

ITV1 and its predecessor channels (collectively known simply as ITV from 1955 to 2001, and always treated as a single channel for ratings purposes), have contended with BBC One for the status of the UK's most watched television channel since the 1950s. However in line with other terrestrial channels, ITV1's audience share has fallen in the era of multi-channel television.


Following the creation of the Television Act in 1954, the establishment of a commercial television service in the UK began.

The "Independent Television" service was made up of regions, with each region run by different companies. The three largest regions (London, the Midlands and the North of England) were subdivided into weekday and weekend services, with a different company running each. ITV existed in a region-heavy form from its inception to the 2000s, although the switch was gradual.

ITV1 became the generic on-screen brand name used by the twelve franchises of the ITV Network in the United Kingdommarker. The brand was introduced in 2001 by Carlton- and Granada-owned franchises, initially used alongside the local regional name. However, it became the sole on-air identity in 2002 when the two companies decided to create a single unified playout of the channel, with regional references only used prior to regional programming. Carlton and Granada went on to merge in 2004, creating ITV plc which now owns eleven of the fifteen regional ITV licences.

The ITV1 name was only used in Englandmarker, Walesmarker, Southern Scotlandmarker and Isle of Manmarker until Channel Television adopted the name in January 2006, bringing it to the Channel Islands. It should be noted, however, that as national continuity is often used on Channel Television, ITV1 national branding had been seen on the station for several years previously.

The franchises that use the ITV1 brand are Anglia Television, Border Television, Carlton Television, Central Independent Television, Channel Television, Granada Television, HTV, London Weekend Television, Meridian Broadcasting, Tyne Tees Television, Westcountry Television and Yorkshire Television.

HTV is the only exception using the name ITV1 Wales at all times for the Welshmarker part of its broadcast area, as it has a higher regional commitment, although recently the ITV1 Wales name is only used on Breakbumpers and regionally advertised programmes. Non ITV plc-owned franchises on the network generally do not refer to the ITV1 name.

The companies which represent ITV1 produce programming under the ITV Studios and Granada brands.

Recent developments

ITV plc Chairman Michael Grade announced a significant revamp for ITV1 in 2007. The first changes began in January 2008 with a new line-up as well as the revival of ITV News at Ten with Sir Trevor McDonald.

High definition broadcasts from ITV1 launched on digital satellite in June 2008, ITV plc confirmed on 12 September 2007. ITV HD is exclusively available on Freesat, a joint free-to-view satellite TV venture between ITV and the BBC. ITV plans to spend £10m during 2008 on the launch of ITV1 HD.

ITV1 +1

On 1 September 2009 it was announced that ITV1 would get a one-hour timeshift on digital satellite and Virgin Media, on 1 October 2009, subject to the Competition Commission's ruling on the contract rights renewal system.

On 18 September 2009 it was announced that ITV1 +1 has been postponed until further notice. Prior to this announcement, EPG data for the service had appeared on satellite.

It will only launch in England and Wales as all the other regions are non-ITV plc franchises. It will only broadcast between 10:25 am and 7:00 am, as it will not broadcast GMTV. ITV1 broadcasts 22 different editions of digital satellite, but the timeshifted service will only transmit six macro regional variants:
  • London
  • South East Macro (encompassing Meridian and Anglia)
  • West Macro (encompassing Wales & West and Westcountry)
  • Central
  • Yorkshire/Tyne Tees Macro (encompassing Yorkshire and Tyne Tees)
  • Granada/Border Macro (encompassing Granada and Border)

Corporate unification

ITV1 share of viewing 1992-2007 BARB figures
Flow diagram displaying consolidation of ITV franchises into ITV plc

ITV1 was formed by the unification of eleven of the ITV licences. The Broadcasting Act 1990 changed many of the rules regulating the ITV Network, which most notably relaxed franchise ownership and hours of production. However as far back as 1974, Yorkshire Television and its North East neighbour, Tyne Tees Television, formally created Trident Television, a merged entity of the two companies. By 1981 due to regulation, the company was forced to de-merge, however they resumed their alliance in 1993 as Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television, which therefore owned the two franchises and integrated the two company's assets more than its predecessor.

However, the intense race to own more of the ITV Network began in 1994 when Carlton Communications, the owner of Londonmarker weekday broadcaster Carlton Television, took control of Central Independent Television in the Midlandsmarker. Literally days afterwards, Granada plc, owner of Granada Television of the North West purchased London Weekend Television. Meridian's owner, Mills and Allen International, then went on to purchase Anglia Television in the same year, before merging to become United News and Media (UNM) in 1995. UNM then went on to purchase Walesmarker and West broadcaster, HTV in 1996, while Carlton purchased Westcountry Television later that year. Granada then agreed a deal to take over Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television in 1997, giving the broadcaster access to both Yorkshiremarker and North East franchises.

There was no movement in the take-over of franchises until 2000 when Border Television and all of its radio assets were sold to Capital Radio Group, who consequently sold the television broadcasting arm to Granada Media Group. Granada then went on to purchase all of UNM's television interests (including its ITV franchises), which brought Meridian, Anglia and HTV into its power, however due to regulation Granada was forced to sell HTV to Carlton. By this time, all of the franchises in Englandmarker and Walesmarker were owned by either Carlton or Granada.

In 2004, Granada plc officially merged with Carlton Communications, creating ITV plc, although it was a takeover by Granada in effect.

Regional variations

ITV1 consists of eleven franchises in England and Wales which broadcast regional news and other local programming to its area. Many franchise areas in England previously had sub-regions providing separate regional news bulletins. For example, the Anglia reason was divided into West and East. This arrangement came to an end in February 2009 when ITV implemented plans to save the company £40m a year on the amount it spent making local news.

Since 27 October 2002, all ITV plc-owned franchises, regional programming is either preceded or plugged by an oral regional announcement, in the format ITV1 regional brand, e.g. ITV1 Granada. In English regions, up until 13 November 2006, regional names were also superimposed (post-production) on these idents below the ITV1 logo, however this practice has since ceased. ITV Wales remains unaffected and still continues to use dual-branding across all of its on-screen presentation. Despite the lack of regional names on screen, the regional name is usually spoken by the announcer prior to local programmes. After ITV's unification in 2002, the two Londonmarker franchises, Carlton Television and London Weekend Television were merged into a single entity, ITV London, while the Wales and West franchise lost its official identity and instead was substituted with ITV Wales and ITV West on-air, with no reference linking the two together.

Although Channel Television have adopted the ITV1 brand on-air, announcements are still referred to "Channel Television". Channel Television is the only franchise not owned by ITV plc to use the brand.

Areas with full ITV1 branding and continuity:

Broadcast area Pre-ITV1 branding Post-ITV1 branding
English-Scottish border/Isle of Man Border ITV1
North East England Tyne Tees ITV1
Yorkshire/Lincolnshire Yorkshire ITV1
North West England Granada ITV1
Wales HTV Wales ITV1/ITV1 Wales*
West of England HTV West ITV1
The Midlands Central ITV1
East of England Anglia ITV1
London (weekdays) Carlton ITV1
London (weekends) LWT ITV1
South and South East England Meridian ITV1
South West England Westcountry ITV1
In the English regions, the channel has been known since 2006 as ITV1 at all times. Regional references no longer appear before any programming at all in these areas.

  • The ITV1 Wales name is now only used on Breakbumpers and regionally advertised programmes.

Areas without full ITV1 branding and continuity:

Broadcast area Present Branding Former Branding
Channel Islands ITV1 (Channel Television) Channel Television**
Northern Ireland UTV Ulster Television***
Northern Scotland STV Grampian Television
Central Scotland STV Scottish Television
**Channel Television use the ITV1 logo on all idents, promotions, ECPs, etc.

***UTV uses the ITV1 branding from around midnight until the beginning of GMTV daily.

Proposed regional changes

In June 2007, ITV plc executive chairman Michael Grade hinted at a possible re-structure of the ITV regional layout, stating the existence of smaller regional services "no longer makes sense" relative to the regional audience they serve.

The plan was confirmed in September 2007, reducing the number of regional news programmes from 17 to just 9, saving around £35 to £40 million each year, and affecting every ITV plc regional company with the exception of ITV London, ITV Wales and ITV Granada. These changes were implemented in early 2009. All sub-regional news programmes ceased, ITV Border's Lookaround programme was merged with ITV Tyne Tees' North East Tonight programme, ITV Westcountry's Westcountry Live merged with ITV West's The West Tonight programme, and ITV Meridian's Meridian Tonight south and south east editions merged with ITV Thames Valley's Thames Valley Tonight.

Pre-recorded sub-regional opt-outs are included in most of these new regions - a practice that has been used by Westcountry since their launch in 1993. Future job losses are currently unknown.


From the founding of the ITV Network in 1955, it was known nationally as Independent Television (later ITV) and locally by the regional branding of the local ITV franchise operator.

In 1989, the ITV Association set out a generic presentation package with a new "ITV" logo, which included idents, promotions and general on and off air design, and an edit of this package was designed for each franchise holder. The dual branded idents included a large "ITV" logo, in which the "V" contained part of the franchise's logo, and written below the logo in a grey capitalised font was the name of the regional broadcaster. However, only half of the regional broadcasters opted to use the package, which had completely failed by 1997.

In 1999, another second common presentation package (once again using dual-branding with the ITV name) was launched, under the theme, "TV From The Heart". Like the 1989 attempt, a version was created for every franchise holder, however it was only taken by nine of the fifteen ITV broadcasters, two of which resorted to other designs, being London Weekend Television, which actually used the look for a year but then adopted a more original look (claiming it "wasn't exciting enough"), and HTV which adopted Carlton's identity when it was purchased by the company in 2001. Carlton, owner of three ITV licences at the time, did not adopt the generic look and instead used another package designed by Lambie-Nairn, which again followed the "TV from the Heart" theme, however with more emphasis on the Carlton corporate identity.

By 2001, all eleven franchises of England and Wales were owned by either Granada plc or Carlton Communications, and a new common name, ITV1, was launched on 11 August 2001 to coincide with digital channel ITV2. The existing "Hearts" idents were simply re-edited.

However from 28 October 2002, in Englandmarker, the Scottishmarker/English Border and Isle of Man (where all the franchises are owned by ITV plc), the station dropped regional branding and identification before most programming and adopted a unified national branding of ITV1. In Walesmarker, although the HTV name has been dropped, some regional identification remains in the form of ITV1 Wales. At this time all regional continuity announcers were replaced with a single team of six national continuity announcers. Since the re-brand of 2006, that team has been reduced to just four.


In 2005, ITV plc introduced the new channel called ITV Day , used to identify ITV1 between 9.25am and 5.00pm. ITV Day was treated as a separate entity to ITV1 and featured its own presentation set focusing using the colours of red, orange and yellow and featured scenes of typical "daytime" activities. Promotions were used in a similar format to ITV1, and all daytime programmes advertised within ITV1 hours were branded with the ITV Day logo.

ITV1 (2006–present)

In January 2006, the channel adopted a new on-air look to coincide with the launch of ITV4, designed mainly to improve cross-channel promotion across ITV's multichannel presence. The new logo brought ITV1, ITV2 and ITV3 in line with ITV4's, and had been observed on various billboard ads in the UK when the new identity was first used on-screen on 16 January 2006. The overhaul also put an end to the former ITV Day brand, which was axed in favour of a full-time ITV1 identity.

On 13 November 2006, a new set of idents replaced the previous set which debuted in January, the theme being "alive with colour". The initial set consisted of Beach, Bike, Lake and Market; Basketball and Pavement Art were added later in the year. They were created by Blink Productions for ITV, unlike the old idents which were masterminded by Red Bee Media. The logo remained the same in essence; only the 'itv' lettering was inverted from its previous white state to black, to allow it to stand out against the yellow more.

On 3 September 2007, four more idents where added to the set, featuring 'Bubbles', 'Fountains', 'Garden' and Windows, and as of 19 September 2009, all now have 'the brighter side' on their placeholders.

ITV plc recently announced that ITV1+1, a one hour time-shift version of ITV1, would launch in October 2009 from 10.25am to 7am daily. The hours covered by GMTV from 7am to 10.25am will not be included in the relay. This format would be similar to how Channel 4 has its one hour time-shift version which was launched in August 2007. On 18 September 2009 it was announced that ITV1 +1 has been postponed until further notice.

See also


External links

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