ITV loses advertising charge ruling
ITV's mass audience appeal means that rules governing how much it can charge advertisers must stay in place, the competition watchdog ruled today.
The broadcaster had called for the scrapping of the Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) system, which was introduced to protect advertisers from the firm's dominant position when Carlton and Granada merged to form ITV in 2003.
The Competition Commission today delivered its formal rejection of the request and said there had been "virtual unanimity" among advertisers, media agencies and other broadcaster that CRR is retained in some form.
Commission chairman Diana Guy said: "ITV remains a must-have for certain advertisers and certain types of campaign. Despite all the changes in this market, no other channel or medium can come close to matching the size of audience that ITV regularly provides."
She said the commission has no wish for CRR to remain in place forever and added it is time for a wider review of the whole system for selling television advertising.
CRR cuts the amount advertisers have to pay if ITV1's audience shrinks, which has hit ITV hard in recent years, adding to an already depressed ad market.
ITV wants the rules to be scrapped altogether, arguing that they are no longer appropriate in a world of digital TV and leads to a risk-averse attitude among programmers and production teams.
The broadcaster - home to shows such as X Factor and Coronation Street - accounted for 982 of the top 1,000 most-watched programmes on commercial television last year, the Competition Commission said.
The watchdog said it believes ITV has overstated the cost and distortions imposed by the CRR mechanism.
Ms Guy added: "When it succeeds in making popular programmes which attract large audiences, CRR does not prevent ITV from reaping the rewards."
However, the commission has agreed that the definition of ITV1 should be widened to include any future ITV1 time-shift channel and high definition.
Ms Guy said: "Many participants have told us that the system of selling television airtime is far from perfect and we repeat our concerns, also raised in 2003, about the potential anti-competitive effects of 'share of broadcasting' and agency 'umbrella' deals between broadcasters and media agencies."
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
COMPETITIVE + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Lead Systems Developer / Sof...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The world's leading financial services careers...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Digital Marketing Executive...
40-45K DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Manager / Senior Account Manag...