STV wants greater freedom from ITV

LONDON - Scottish commercial broadcaster STV has responded to Ofcom's PSB review, calling for more freedom from ITV plc to allow it more scheduling flexibility.

STV: tough response to Ofcom PSB review
STV: tough response to Ofcom PSB review

STV said it rejects the notion of a single UK-wide Channel 3 licence and believes the interests of Scotland, and the nations and regions of the UK, are best served by the retention of the Channel 3 network with dedicated licences providing strong relevant content for regional audiences.

Rob Woodward, chief executive of STV, said that the current ITV network model "is not broken; it simply needs modernising for the digital age".

STV also rejected ITV plc's assertion that it "subsidises" STV and Northern Ireland's UTV by £25m per year, arguing that the total value to ITV plc of being part of the federal ITV network is £227m.

A spokesman for STV said: "The main elements of this are ITV's ability to use ITV1 content on its digital channels at virtually no cost and to promote ITV2, 3 and 4 and ITV.com on ITV1. Both these aspects are valued in excess of £100m per year. STV and UTV contribute £28m to £31m per annum directly to ITV plc through the ITV network."

The broadcaster added that it will continue to provide high quality news and current affairs in the short to medium term, but it seeks "a small level of funding" to continue this.

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