Report of proposed STV-ITV relationship concerned about access to TV catch-up

A PROPOSED change in the relationship between STV and ITV might prevent Scots from viewing ITV programmes via a TV catch-up service run by STV – says The Herald.

Reports City editor, Tim Sharp, of what is being claimed would be ‘simpler relationship’ between STV and ITV – assuming it is approved by broadcasting regulators, Ofcom – chief executive of STV, Rob Woodward, is quoted as saying: “At the moment both the ITV Player and the STV Player are available in Scotland and the STV Player is available in England.

“We will move to a model so that we will geoblock. The ITV Player will not be available in Scotland and the STV Player in England.

“We are now essentially replicating the rights we have in broadcasting material in the online and mobile environment.”

In a separate Herald article, Sharp, writes: “STV will only pay ITV for programmes when it screens them and will control online access north of the Border in a deal that seeks to end a long-running dispute between the two broadcasters.

“The Glasgow-based company has withdrawn from the Channel 3 Network, in which it previously had a six per cent stake, and will retain only affiliate status.

“The move is aimed at simplifying the previous payments system and means STV will no longer contribute to the up-front cost of ITV’s programme making.”

Yesterday, reported the ending STV hoping to become an ‘affiliate’ of ITV, paying for ITV programmes ‘up front’, thus ending a relationship rooted in the formation of ITV almost 60 years ago when it comprised 15 regional broadasters, but with Channel 3 now comprising ITV, STV and Northern Ireland-based UTV.

Says the Scottish Daily Express, the proposed change would herald the “end of the regional opt-out policy that meant [various programmes such as Benidorm and the first series of Downton Abbey] were blacked out in Scotland.”

The Scottish Daily Mail, meanwhile, said the proposed new deal would ensure “Scots viewers will continue to see hit shows such as Downton Abbey and The X Factor.”

And The Scotsman says the two parties “yesterday struck a ‘milestone’ agreement on groundbreaking new networking arrangements that are seen as formally drawing a line under their lengthy litigation.”