Ofcom consults on splitting ITV West and Wales region
In consultation documents released today as part of the renewal process of the Channel 3 licences, and supported by Ofcom's Advisory Committee for Wales, the regulator plans to split the current ITV West and West region, creating a Wales-only licence.
The current ITV West region serving Bristol, Somerset and parts of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire would be detached from ITV Wales and added to the ITV Westcountry region creating a new ITV South West licence area.
On-air, ITV South West would consist of two sub-regions, separating the the former ITV West and Westcountry service areas.
Most of the changes are on paper only, as on-air the ITV West and Wales service is already obligated to offer different levels of regional coverage.
Ofcom is proposing to maintain the current level of 5 hours and 30 minutes of regional programming required for Wales in the new Wales only licence, while the ITV South West licence would be obligated to provide 2 hours 30 minutes of programming, which would see the current ITV West and Westcountry news provision split again, but still broadcast from ITV's Bristol hub. Regional news in the South West outside of weekday peak-time would be cut, with weekend bulletins for the two sub-regions reduced to five minutes in line with plans for all ITV English regions outside of the Border region.
The consultation document is available on the Ofcom website and is open for comments until 2nd May 2013. http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/c3-licensed-area/summary/Licensed_Areas.pdf
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