ITV told it Must Carry on its Public Service

19 June 2008

LONDON: The UK's biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV, is unlikely to be allowed to dispense with its public service responsibilities, says the government's culture secretary Andy Burnham.

The broadcaster, which has long complained about the financial burden of its commitment to regional news and argued for relaxation in the number of commercials it can air, will be crestfallen at Burnham's remarks during a Broadcasting Press Guild event.

He told the audience he was disappointed that the broadcaster has failed to meet is public service obligations for a second year: "These are legal requirements, they are not negotiable, to be brushed away," he declared.

In addition, he said: "ITV's DNA is in the regions, in regional production. It may be inconvenient to some people that people like regional news, but they do."

He also highlighted again his opposition to product placement in TV programmes and suggested ITV needed to look at other ways of increasing its revenues, such as driving more traffic to its website.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff