Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 16:17 UK

STV drops more ITV network dramas

STV logo
STV has now dropped several ITV dramas from its schedule

Scottish broadcaster STV has confirmed that it is dropping more ITV dramas from its schedule.

STV will not be showing Wuthering Heights, The Fixer, Doc Martin, Blue Murder or Agatha Christie's Marple.

It has already said it will not show other ITV dramas such as The Bill, Midsomer Murders, Kingdom and Al Murray's Happy Hour.

STV said its programming strategy involved taking greater control of its own schedule.

ITV owns all the former regional stations in England, the Borders and Wales and pays the vast bulk of the cost of network programmes.

We are creating a diverse schedule of wide appeal for our viewers, which includes home-grown programming, quality acquired series and network programming
STV spokeswoman

However STV in most of Scotland and UTV in Northern Ireland remain independent companies with control over their schedule.

Since the current management team took over STV two years ago, the company has been striving to separate its destiny from that of ITV.

STV does not need to pay ITV for programmes it does not show and there is also a long-running disagreement between ITV and STV and UTV over the cost of the network schedule.

ITV claims that it is subsidising them. STV and UTV deny this.

'Quality productions'

Commenting on the latest decision to drop ITV programmes from its schedule, a spokeswoman for STV said: "We are proud to be part of the Channel 3 network and equally we are committed to investing in new, high quality Scottish productions.

"We are creating a diverse schedule of wide appeal for our viewers, which includes home-grown programming, quality acquired series and network programming."

The spokeswoman described the move as a "long-term strategy", adding: "We have been investing in and developing high quality productions since the start of the year and they are now starting to hit TV screens in strong, high profile time slots.

"So far we've seen some great results. We'll be rolling out more of our Scottish productions and acquired series we believe will appeal to our viewers into 2010."



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