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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
ITV wants to cut children's shows
Thomas The Tank Engine
Thomas The Tank Engine is one of ITV's children's programmes
ITV has sent a written request to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom asking permission to reduce the amount of children's programmes it shows on ITV1.

About eight hours of children's programmes are currently screened on the channel each week.

The ITV network announced it would stop making shows for youngsters two months ago, while children's controller Estelle Hughes resigned last week.

Ofcom said a decision on ITV's request would be made in the autumn.

Under current rules, ITV, Channel Four and Five set their own quotas for children's programming - and all other types of programmes with the exception of news.

However, if they propose a significant change to their output, they have to consult Ofcom.

Previous changes

Earlier this year, the watchdog agreed to a separate proposal by ITV to scale back the number of hours it devoted to children's and religious programmes.

Ofcom granted the reduction in public service broadcasting because of the choice of programmes available on other channels.

Under the agreement, the network was committed to a minimum of eight hours of children's programmes a week and one hour of religious output.

The details of ITV's new proposal have not been disclosed.

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