ITV lifted by call for advertising review

OFT advises Competition Commission to consider changes to ITV contracts

ITV received a major boost from the Office of Fair Trading yesterday after it recommended a review of the burdensome rules that restrict the amount the commercial broadcaster can charge advertisers.

The OFT has advised the Competition Commission to "consider changes" to ITV's Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) Undertakings, which were imposed to address concerns that ITV would abuse its dominant position after the broadcasting giant was created through the merger of Carlton and Granada in 2003. CRR allowed advertisers and media buyers to keep their pre-merger contracts and also to cut the amount they pay ITV if its audience viewing levels fall. Shares in ITV rose by 1.75p, or 4.7 per cent, to 38.75p yesterday.

ITV – which has been hit hard by the advertising downturn and suffered losses of £2.73bn last year – has been lobbying for an overhaul of CRR for about two years, arguing that it led to underinvestment in high-quality, diverse programming that advertisers and viewers value.

John Fingleton, the OFT chief executive, said: "Changes in ITV's market position and programme delivery since CRR was introduced in 2003 mean it is now time to take another look at it. We recommend retaining some protection for advertisers and media buyers so that all parties have an equal playing field in what are challenging economic circumstances."

Michael Grade, the executive chairman of ITV who said last month he will step down and become non-executive chairman, has previously called the system a "straitjacket".

The broadcaster said: "ITV welcomes the fact that the OFT has now sent its report and recommendation to the Competition Commission in its review of CRR." ITV added that it will study the OFT's full report, once it is published, and provide the Competition Commission with detailed evidence to support the case for CRR's abolition.

The OFT yesterday said that while the market share of ITV1, its core channel, has declined, it remains the only provider of "very large" commercial audiences valued by some advertisers. As a result, the detrimental effects of the merger on the advertising market have not been "eroded completely".

In January, the OFT reached a preliminary view to recommend that the Competition Commission "relaxes" ITV's CRR restrictions and launched a consultation on the rules, inviting media buyers, advertising agencies and others to submit evidence.

This month, ITV said its first-quarter revenues fell by 14 per cent to £425m and revealed it would cut its programming budget further in response to tumbling advertising.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news

Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear

Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
film
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

Opilio Recruitment: Business Development Manager

Competitive: Opilio Recruitment: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Bu...

Opilio Recruitment: Technical Recruiter

£35k - 42k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting oppo...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Support Analyst

£30k - 36k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Langley James : Field Support Engineer; Dynamics, SQL; Manchester, £33k+Car

£33000 - £36000 per annum + Car+Laptop+Phone: Langley James : Field Support En...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game