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Thursday, 8 November, 2001, 17:01 GMT
ITV signs ITN for six years
Trevor McDonald
Trevor McDonald: The face of ITV news
News provider ITN has signed a six-year contract to supply commercial TV network ITV with news, ITV has announced.

ITV said the contract, which had been expected to last only four or five years, would run from January 2003.

It was announced in September that ITN, which has provided news bulletins for the network for more than 45 years, had fought off a rival bid from the Channel 3 consortium, involving satellite station Sky News.

New York
ITN's coverage of the 11 September attacks had been praised
Stewart Purvis, chief executive of ITN, said then: "We believe that ITV's decision to select ITN as the preferred bidder reflects the quality of our news provision and the value for money of the ITN tender."

The editor of ITV News, Nigel Dacre, said the news service would now focus on trying to "further strengthen the position of ITV as the country's most popular channel".

Richard Huntingford, chairman of the unsuccessful bidder Channel 3 News, had said that the company was "naturally disappointed" by the decision.

Jon Snow
Channel 4 news: Read by Jon Snow, provided by ITN
The backers of Channel 3 News include the satellite broadcaster BSkyB, Chrysalis, Ulster Television, the financial news group Bloomberg and the American network CBS.

Long-established

The consortium had offered to set up a service from scratch with new technology - and said that by providing news only for ITV, it could be more cost-effective.

ITN is a broadcasting institution as long-established as ITV itself.

It is owned by Granada and Carlton Communications - both major shareholders in ITV. Other backers include United Business Media, Daily Mail & General Trust and the Reuters Group.

It now provides bulletins for commercial broadcasters including Channel 4 and Channel 5, 250 commercial radio stations and several 24-hour news services.

It has already seen off challenges for the Channel 4 and Channel 5 bulletins from BSkyB, the owner of Sky News.

And executives always maintained that it was confident of retaining this, its first and most important contract - which it has said is worth 46m a year.

Praise for the ITN coverage of the 11 September attacks on the US may also have helped it retain the contract.

See also:

26 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
The significance of ITN's news deal
13 Jun 01 | Business
ITV to seek bids from news providers
31 Jul 01 | Business
Bidding closes for ITV news
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Sky battles ITN for news contract
31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
ITN's global expansion
30 Jul 00 | Business
BSkyB eyes ITV news deal
01 Aug 00 | UK
ITN joins all-news battle
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