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Ofcom renews Channel 3 and 5 licences

ITV West and Wales go their separate ways...
Ofcom has confirmed it is going to renew Channel 3 and 5 licences for a ten year period starting 1st January 2015, if the current licencees agree to the terms of the new licence, such as regional programme commitments for Channel 3 licences.

All current Channel 3 licensees - ITV, STV and UTV - will continue on air, but Ofcom has approved the separation of the Wales and West ITV licence area, previously HTV. The two parts of the licence area have had separate identities on air for some time, but the change cements the separation from legal point of view.

Changes to the Border TV region as part of the licence renewal already commenced at the beginning of 2014, providing viewers in the south of Scotland with dedicated political programming ahead of the Scottish Referendum.

The licence renewal process prompted ITV to recently improve regional news provision in its sub-regions, but with time during the 6pm news in most of its regions now allocated to news stories affecting multiple regions.

Channel 5 licence renewal comes at a time when its current owner - Richard Desmond - is reportedly seeking a buyer for the broadcaster.

From the archives:
Ofcom consults on splitting ITV Wales and West regions (21/02/2013)


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