Media / Talk of the Trade: Blockbuster bust up

THE BILL, ITV's blockbuster made by Thames, is causing a major row between the two. Thames intends using repeats of The Bill on its forthcoming Astra satellite channel, UK Gold. However, the ITV network, which wants to keep running the programme after January - and which is also trying to reduce the attractions of satellite - is trying to buy up all future satellite rights. Meanwhile the BBC, triumphant in the football rights battles, appears to be consolidating its alliance with BSkyB by studying a joint 24-hour news service with Sky News.