ITV boss Allen calls for ceasefire in ratings battle with the BBC

Consolidation continues as ITV snaps up Scottish stake in GMTV for £31m

Charles Allen, the chief executive of ITV, has called for a new era of "collaboration" with the BBC, its traditional rival, and has declared his support for the licence fee to continue as the basis for the BBC's funding.

In an interview with The Independent, Mr Allen said ITV and the BBC should work together more in the future to the benefit of viewers rather than vying for dominance of ratings.

His comments come as ITV yesterday continued its consolidation of channel three by snapping up a further stake in GMTV, the breakfast television company.

"Our focus is much more about competing with commercial competitors rather than competing with the BBC," Mr Allen told The Independent.

"My vision would also see us collaborating more with the BBC rather than head-to-head competition because I don't think the viewer benefits from head-to-head competition," he said. "I don't believe in ghetto-ising the BBC. I think it's about us as an industry selling our wares internationally. I think we can be world leading."

Mr Allen said there were a "great many things" the two broadcasters could do together. It already has shared studio operations in Manchester, for instance. "We are in the same sector, the same industry and it is about how you work together. We will be very supportive, for example, of the BBC continuing to have the license fee as the basis of funding," he said.

Mr Allen also raised questions about the recent management of the BBC and the role the corporation has been playing in recent years.

"It's in everybody's interests to have a strong BBC. Ironically, what has happened in the last few years under more commercial leadership is people are asking the question what role should the BBC play in the future? We should never have that question. We are very supportive of a strong BBC."

The "more commercial leadership" mentioned by Mr Allen is a reference to Greg Dyke, the former BBC director general, who has been linked to taking Mr Allen's job at ITV.

Mr Allen has been faced with constant rumours about his future following last year's dramatic ousting of Michael Green, the former head of Carlton, as ITV's first chairman.

Mr Allen said there was "no substance" to the rumours linking Mr Dyke to the ITV job, saying that although Mr Dyke was a "very good creative director" there was "not a creative deficit at ITV".

The company has also been the subject of takeover speculation, with a number of private equity bidders being mentioned.

Mr Allen's move yesterday to raise ITV's stake in GMTV to 75 per cent heralds the start of a corporate tidying-up process following the merger earlier this year of Carlton Communications and Granada.

ITV is buying SMG's 25 per cent stake in GMTV for £31m. The move consolidates its ownership of the early morning channel. ITV will be making a similar offer to the Walt Disney Company, which has the last 25 per cent of GMTV that is still outstanding.

However, a string of smaller corporate actions is expected from ITV to rationalise its assets. A further move will involve a boardroom review of the non-television assets that ITV has inherited from the Carlton-Granada merger. It is understood that the future of businesses including the Carlton cinema advertising operations and Granada Learning, the education business, will be reviewed by the ITV board. Other assets in the review will include stakes in both Arsenal and Liverpool football clubs that were bought by Granada. ITV is believed to be keen to sell the stakes.

Suggested Topics
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
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 Media

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Head of Marketing - London

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketing Manager / Dig...

Brand Manager / Account Manager

£28 - 36k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Brand Manager / Senior Account Manager is nee...

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