ITV Goes Ahead with UK Breakfast Buy-out

13 October 2004

The UK's commercial breakfast TV station GMTV is finally under the control of ITV.

The £31m (€44m, $54m) deal for the 25% of holding owned by SMG (Scottish Media Group) has been rubber-stamped by regulators and sees 75% of the breakfast franchise in the hands of the UK's largest commercial TV broadcaster.

The remaining quarter belongs to US media giant Walt Disney, but ITV is mandated under UK company law to bid for the shares, which Disney is willing to sell.

As part of the deal ITV assumes responsibility for SMG's airtime sales on its two franchises, Scottish TV and Grampian TV.

Says Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of SMG: "The ITV name has significant value to all ITV franchise holders and is synonymous with high-quality British television.

"I'm pleased that we have reached this agreement with ITV plc, which clarifies the use of the ITV brand by Scottish TV, Grampian TV and ITV plc."

As part of the agreement, ITV's digital channels, ITV2 and the ITV News Channel,will be promoted on the Scottish broadcaster's franchises.

Says Charles Allen, ceo of ITV: "We have reached agreement with SMG on a number of points confirming the operation of the ITV Network, the digital transmission in Scotland of ITV channels including ITV2 and ITV News Channel and the sale of all SMG's national television airtime through our single ITV sales house."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff