Macdonald backs campaign against UK-wide ITV

THE former chair of the owners of stv has added his voice to a campaign by the company against a single, Channel 3 licence operating for the whole of the UK.

Gus Macdonald – now Rt Hon Lord Macdonald of Tradeston – was addressing the House of Lords on the public service broadcasting review being conducted by broadcasting regulators, Ofcom. One proposal being considered is that there is a single ITV for the whole of the UK.

Already, stv group plc have secured the backing of the Scottish Parliament.

While most of the ITV network is owned by ITV plc, stv group plc, UTV and Channel TV are not. And stv say there are good reasons why they should remain independent when its licence comes up for grabs in 2014.

Ofcom has indicated that a single Channel 3 licence is an option for the future, and ITV plc has indicated it supports the idea.

Earlier this month, stv group plc chief executive, Rob Woodward, told “The stakes are very high. We absolutely refute that the needs of Scotland would be best served by a single, branded ITV.”

Said Macdonald, who was chair of stv group plc when it was known as Scottish Media Group: “I would ask Ofcom and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to be prepared to question ITV plc’s demand for a single ITV brand covering all the UK.”

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