ITC accused of inconsistency over Channel 5 - Business - News - The Independent

ITC accused of inconsistency over Channel 5

Losers in the controversial award of the Channel 5 licence last night accused the Independent Television Commission of inconsistency, and continued to threaten legal action against the television watchdog.

Meanwhile, sources at the licence winner, Channel 5 Broadcasting, led by Pearson and MAI, said they could make a profit as early as the second year of the 10-year licence.

Sparks continued to fly from all directions in the aftermath of last Friday's decision by the ITC to fail two groups - Canadian-backed UKTV and Virgin TV - on the quality of their proposed programming for the new terrestrial channel. The award went to second-highest bidder, Channel 5, which offered pounds 22m a year for the coveted licence.

Robert Devereux, chief executive of Virgin TV, said his consortium was "putting together a lengthy rebuttal of the points made by the ITC" and said it would meet with lawyers today to see about a judicial review.

"We are convinced," he said, "that the ITC has concocted reasons to fail Virgin TV."

Mr Devereux said the ITC's criticism of Virgin's plans for news bulletins was unwarranted. For its news services, Virgin TV had asked both Reuters and Independent Television News to tender, and said both agreed to provide coverage for roughly the same amount of money.

UKTV was also believed to be closeted with legal counsel last night, to determine whether a judicial review was possible.

The group, backed by CanWest, the Canadian broadcaster, Australia's Channel 10 and SelecTV, the independent producer and cable TV broadcaster now up for sale, bid pounds 36m but was failed on its lack of "diversity" in its proposed programming.

UKTV is believed to want to question the ITC about a meeting on 11 October, two weeks before the award was announced, between CanWest's chief executive, Izzy Asper, and officials of the ITC. At that meeting, the consortium was apparently asked to provide guarantees that it could fully finance its programming and start-up costs, leading UKTV to believe it had passed all other hurdles.

"No one else was asked to come in at the same time," a UKTV insider said.

It is the belief of the UKTV consortium that ITC officials had recommended the award be made to the Canadian-backed group, but that the full commission was against the plan.

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week