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Formerly Called Independent Television/ITV (until August 11, 2001)
Launched:September 22, 1955
Audience Share (Feb 2005): 18.8% (incl. GMTV) [1] (
Owned By: ITV Network Limited (consisting of ITV plc, SMG plc, Ulster Television plc, Channel Television).
Terrestrial Analogue:Usually channel 3
Terrestrial Digital:Freeview channel 3
Satellite:Sky Digital channel 103
Cable:NTL channel 103 (Republic of Ireland: Channel 107).

Telewest channel 103, Chorus Digital, channel 7.

ITV1 is a terrestrial, free-to-air television channel broadcast in the United Kingdom by the ITV network. The network is the oldest and most popular commercial television channel in the country. The network broadcasts from 9:25am to 6:00am daily, from 6:00am to 9:25am, GMTV is broadcast instead on the same frequencies.

This article deals with the channel as it is broadcast at present. For information on the long history of the channel, see the separate article, ITV.



ITV1 offers a broad range of programming. From 9:25am until 5:30pm, the channel is called "ITV Day", and offers a range of daytime programming including their flagship daytime show, This Morning. Early evening is dominated by soap operas, with the long running Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and police drama The Bill.

ITV1 covers many popular sports. The channel emphasises coverage of football (it holds the UK terrestrial rights to the UEFA Champions League). It also covers Formula 1 racing, rugby, and other sports.

ITV1 has a full news service. The channel is required under the Broadcasting Act 1990 to put its news contract out to a nominated news provider. Since the channel's opening, Independent Television News Limited has held the contract. News bulletins are broadcast at 5:30am, 12:30pm, 6:30pm, and 10:30pm. For more details on ITV News, see the separate article on ITN.

The regional ITV companies provide local programmes tailored for the regional audiences. All the ITV companies provide a main local bulletin at 6pm (5:30pm in the UTV region), as well as other local features and sport programming. These regional programmes have however been much reduced in recent years. See the separate articles on each ITV regional company for details of what programmes they provide.


Unlike practically all other TV channels in the United Kingdom, ITV1 is not owned by one single company, although it has come close in recent years. The UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) licences fifteen companies to provide regional Channel 3 services in various areas of the country. The licences were last put out to full tender in 1991, since then they have been renewed on a rolling basis. All the companies belong to ITV Network Limited (formerly the Independent Television Companies' Association Limited), a not-for-profit body. It is this body that commissions programmes for the network, and schedules the network programming.

In practical terms, ITV plc, which owns eleven of the fifteen licences (all except Scottish TV, Grampian TV, UTV, and Channel) dominates the system nowadays. It comes close to controlling the system now. It is ITV plc which operates the other "ITV" branded channels in the UK, not the ITV Network. See the separate article on ITV plc for details.

Name and Branding

From its founding in 1955 the channel was known nationally as Independent Television (later ITV) and locally by the regional branding of the local ITV franchise operator. (For the history of the channel, see the main ITV article). Up until 1989, only the local regional name would regularly be seen on-air however. In 1989, the network introduced dual branding on-air for the first time, with a common ident featuring the ITV logo designed for all the stations, although in the event less than half of them used it. Under dual-branding, the ITV name and logo was used alongside the existing regional name and logo. In 1998, a new ITV logo was launched and in 1999, a second common ident (once again using dual-branding) was launched, under the theme, "TV From The Heart". This was used by most stations in England and Wales, although the stations owned by Carlton used a different package with the same "heart" theme, but with the Carlton branding more prominent. The network was renamed ITV1 on 11 August 2001, with the increased uptake of digital TV and the existence of ITV2. Initially this entailed re-edits of the existing dual-branded idents.

However from 28 October 2002, in England (where all the franchises are owned by ITV plc), the station dropped regional identification before most programming and adopted a unified national branding of ITV1. Local programmes are branded as ITV1 (Region Name), eg ITV1 Central.

The UK nations of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have different branding on the channel, in view of the national audiences they serve. In Wales, the local licencee, HTV (also owned by ITV plc) broadcasts under the name "ITV1 Wales" (or "ITV Day Wales") before all programmes. In the Scottish Television (Central Scotland), Grampian (Northern Scotland) or UTV (Northern Ireland) regions, the "Scottish TV", "Grampian TV", and "UTV" names continue to be used before all programmes.

On November 1st, 2004, the channel adopted a new on-air look to coincide with the launch of ITV3. The new look was designed mainly to improve cross-channel promotion across the ITV network.

External link

British television | Channels | ITV

Scotland: Grampian, Scottish Television, Border | North and Northwest: ABC, Granada
Northeast: Tyne Tees | Yorkshire: Yorkshire | Northern Ireland: UTV | Wales: TWW, WWN, ITSWW, HTV
Midlands: ATV, Central | East: Anglia | London: Rediffusion, ATV, Thames, LWT, Carlton
South: Southern, TVS, Meridian | Southwest: Westward, TSW, Westcountry | Channel Islands: Channel TV

Breakfast: TV-am, GMTV | Teletext: ORACLE, Teletext Ltd | News: ITN

ITA | IBA | ITC | Ofcom
ITV plc | ITV1 | ITV2 | ITV3 | ITV4 | ITV News Channel | Men & Motors | ITV Digital


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