Border Television


Border Television

Infobox ITV franchisee
name = Border Television


based = Carlisle
area = Border region between England, Scotland and Isle of Man
owner = ITV plc
airdate = 1 September 1961
old
The "B" logo from 1961 to 1999.
closeddate = lost on-air identity on 27 October 2002 (known verbally as ITV1 Border before regional programming only)
replaced =
replacedby =
website = [http://www.itvlocal.com/border itvlocal.com/border]

Border Television (now legally known as ITV Border) is the ITV franchisee for the border region between England and Scotland (including the south of Scotland, much of Cumbria and, until December 2006, the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed), and also the Crown dependency of the Isle of Man. [ [http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/tvlicensing/c3/border/ Border Television licence - Ofcom] ] It is part of ITV plc.

The flagship news programme for the region is "Lookaround", broadcast daily at 18:00. In 2007, the station's owners ITV plc announced plans to merge ITV Border's news service with that of ITV Tyne Tees.

Like all ITV plc-owned regions, Border is now known on air as ITV1, and ITV1 Border verbally in accordance with regional programming.

History

During the 1970s and well into the 1980s, the company's principal offering to the wider ITV network was the gameshow "Mr and Mrs", hosted by Derek Batey. In 1985, they produced a music show for Channel 4 entitled "Bliss", hosted by Muriel Gray and shot in Border's car park.

Based in Carlisle in northern England, Border has been broadcasting since 1 September 1961, and is now owned by ITV plc. It has had the complex task of serving three very different regions, particularly given the political differences between England and Scotland, and the fact that the Isle of Man is not even part of the United Kingdom. However, this has been remedied somewhat by the introduction of separate news bulletins for England and Scotland. Despite its diminutive status within the ITV Network, plus several flirtations with collapse based on difficulty selling advertising airtime covering an intensely rural community, Border has successfully concentrated on providing its regional service since 1961, and its regional news programme is one of the highest rating of any BBC or ITV region in the country. There has, though, been some controversy on the Isle of Man regarding a lack of coverage, particularly in Tynwald, but the delivery of a satellite news gathering truck on the island will hopefully improve further output. Prior to this resource becoming available, the logistics of shooting footage and getting it back to Carlisle in time for the main news programme were far from straightforward.

Lord Bragg, controller of arts and features at ITV Productions, is a former chairman of Border Television.

During the 1990s, Border owned a number of radio stations, under the subsidiary Border Radio Holdings, including the Century FM brand and CFM (Carlisle). Border and its radio stations were bought by Capital Radio in 2000, and the television station was later sold to Granada Media Group. Rumours over its future have persistently dogged Border, with recent speculation in particular that, in future, in order to save money, Border could be merged. There was also talk of STV group (SMG) going to try and buy ITV1 Border Scotland in the early 2000s but that never happened.

It was announced on 27 July 2006 that the Berwick-upon-Tweed transmitter was to transfer to Tyne Tees Television as part of the preparations for the digital switchover of the Border region in 2008 and to bring Berwick into line with the rest of the North East, which is scheduled to switch over to digital in 2012. [http://www.berwicktoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=970&ArticleID=1654750] The transfer took effect from 13 December 2006, although Border news programmes still carry stories about Berwick-upon-Tweed due to its proximity to the eastern Scottish Borders.

Future

In 2008, the United Kingdom plans to begin its five-year programme to cease analogue television broadcasts as part of the switchover to Digital television starting with Border.

ITV plc executive chairman Michael Grade is restructuring the ITV regional layout, stating the existence of Border Television "no longer makes sense" relative to the regional audience it serves. [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/broadcasting/a63355/grade-hints-at-itv-region-restructure.html Grade hints at ITV Region re-structure - Digital Spy] ] The move is expected to give ITV plc "greater value for money", but may be subject to Ofcom approval. [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/broadcasting/a70617/itv-close-to-new-regional-plan.html ITV Close to New Regional Plan - Digital Spy] ] .

On 12 September 2007, Grade announced plans to close ITV Border and merge the region with ITV Tyne Tees. [ [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/broadcasting/a75535/itv-plans-gbp40m-cut-in-regional-news.html Broadcasting - News - ITV plans £40m cut in regional news - Digital Spy ] ] If Ofcom agrees with the proposal the changes could be in place by 2009. The Border region will be covered by a short programme opt out until digital switch over is complete in 2014 but after that there is no guarantee that regional news programmes will continue.

It is almost certain the change would mean the closure of Television Centre in the Harraby district of Carlisle, home to Border since it commenced broadcasting in 1961.

On 25 September 2008, Ofcom gave ITV the green light to merge Border's news operation with that of ITV Tyne Tees at Gateshead from next year.

References

External links

* [http://www.itvlocal.com/border ITV Border] at itvlocal.com
* [http://www.digitaltvcumbria.info Help tips and advice as Cumbria leads the way to digital TV]


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