LONDON: Ailing ITV, Britain's largest commercial broadcaster, has opted for short term financial pain in the hope of long term financial gain.

To build audiences for its recently resurrected News at Ten slot, the ITV1 flagship channel has ditched all advertising breaks during the 35-minute programme - a hitherto unprecedented move that will cost the company hundreds of thousands of pound.

It is a clear signal that ITV hopes to snatch viewing share from the uninterrupted and higher-rated BBC news bulletin at the same time.

But according to ITV News editor-in-chief David Mannion the ad-free respite is short term: "There won't be any ad breaks for the first couple of weeks, then they will introduce them . . . It is purely an ITV commercial issue."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff