Channel TV Challenges ITV Titans Over Brand Compensation

04 January 2002

The smallest partner in Britain's ITV consortium, Jersey-based Channel Television, has thrown down the gauntlet to the network’s dominating duo, Carlton Communications and Granada Media.

Channel, whose total audience comprises just 150,000 viewers, is entitled to compensation for the unilateral expropriation of the ITV brand by Carlton/Granada to hang on their ailing ITV Digital platform – previously known as ONdigital [WAMN: 11-Jul-01].

Channel is unhappy with the unspecified amount on offer, believing that the duo ignored the views of the smaller members of the network in respect both of the rebranding decision and proposed compensation. The minnow is sticking out for more than £100,000 for its share of the brand name, rather than the “low five-figure sum” said to be on offer.

Although the rebranding took place in July, negotiations between the two sides still drag on and Channel says it will ask commercial TV regulator, the Independent Television Commission, to arbitrate if negotiations are not resolved shortly. As a last resort, Channel could also seek a ruling from the Competition Commission or the High Court.

Carlton and Granada have already reached accommodations with the two other minority members of the network, Ulster TV and Scottish Media Group. But as to the ongoing dispute with Channel TV?: “We don't engage in megaphone diplomacy,” said a terse ITV spokesperson.

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