Monday, February 09, 2009
ITN back on the sell off agenda?
Now just a few days ago I was all in favour of an expanded ITN looking after a regional news service in competition to the BBC; now though I'm not so sure.
A Times report today suggests that ITV would be able to live with a News service that was not under control/ownership of the (currently) leading commercial TV service and it could also do something about the supply of a regional TV news service to the third channel.
While I think a real alternative to BBC (or Sky) TV news should be welcomed I have concerns that a TV news service without a strong independent backer could be of limited value -if it did come to pass I'd be far happier if it had some clever constitution that tied it into the BBC competitor PSB that OFCOM is so keen on seeing rather than a straight commercial deal.
ITN's "best" customer currently is C4 and keeping a balanced contract between theC4 and a free market ITN while not simple at the moment could be even more complicated with a for profit organisation.
Not only should ITV be concerned about getting a fair market price in these challenging times but how will the jolly old Daily Mail feel about all this action?