Channel Television

Channel Television
ITV1 Channel Television
ITV Channel Television.png
Launched 1 September 1962
Network ITV
Owned by Yattendon Group plc
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audience share ITV Network:
0.7% (+1)
1.0% (HD)
(October 2011, BARB)
Slogan "Your Islands, Your Channel"
Country Channel Islands
Language English
Broadcast area Channel Islands
Headquarters St Helier, Jersey
Formerly called Channel Television,
Channel TV, CTV
Freeview Channel 3
Freesat Channel 103
Sky Channel 103
Astra 2D 10906V 22000 5/6
Newtel Cable
(Jersey only)
Channel 13
Internet television
ctvPlayer Catch up

Channel Television (known on-air as ITV1 Channel Television) is a British television station which has served as an Independent Television (ITV) contractor to the Channel Islands since 1962. It is based in Jersey. As well as producing and broadcasting regional programmes, Channel Television is one of four independent ITV companies alongside STV (incorporating STV Central and STV North), UTV and ITV plc.

On 18 October 2011, it was announced that Channel Television is to be sold to ITV plc subject to approval from the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority. [1]

Channel is one of only two companies on the network (the other being ITV plc) dealing with programme compliance for ITV Network Limited. Some of the programmes Channel Television takes responsibility for include (or have included) The X Factor, Midsomer Murders and the British Comedy Awards. Typically the compliance department within ITV plc will handle all content produced by its constituent companies while Channel Television takes on independent productions for ITV Network Limited.[2]

Digital switchover in the Channel Islands was completed in November 2010.



From the point of view of television coverage, the BBC has always treated the islands as an extension of their South West region, relaying programmes from Plymouth to the islands. (The BBC does now broadcast an opt-out of the regional news bulletin, Spotlight, for the Channel Islands.) However, as the smaller areas of Britain acquired their commercial television channel in the late 1950s and early 1960s, local opinion was that the Channel Islands should have their own franchise.

This posed a problem to the Independent Television Authority as, constitutionally, the Television Act 1954 did not apply to the islands, so the ITA's ability to operate there had to be permitted by means of extending the Act to the islands by means of an Order in Council.

Secondly, there was a problem of connecting the islands to the rest of the ITV Network - the solution was to build a relay station on Alderney, the northern-most island, which would then send the network feed from Westward Television and occasionally Southern Television to Channel Television's studio in Jersey; this was initially a problem, because the existence of the relay station meant that Alderney itself could not have a broadcast service from the start of broadcasting, and the local authorities refused to lease land to the ITA for the relay station.

This problem was eventually overcome, and Channel Television went on the air on September 1, 1962 - the penultimate ITV franchise to begin broadcasting (followed by WWN), and serving the smallest population: only about 150,000 people in 54,000 households.

Channel's arrangement with Westward changed over, in 1982, to TSW, the new ITV contractor for the South West; however, in 1986, Channel changed over to TVS, and this continued with Meridian from 1993 onwards. Several acquired afternoon serials running on Channel were disrupted during the switchover from TSW to TVS and the Channel TV Times detailed how they affected viewers. For instance Channel had to miss 172 episodes of The Young Doctors, the first 9 episodes of Prisoner Cell Block H which had been screened on TVS in 1985, and they had to re-show 83 episodes of Sons and Daughters as TVS were behind TSW.

Due to the need to provide a stronger network feed from the UK, and upgraded studio facilities, the Channel Islands were prevented from receiving colour television, and Channel could only broadcast in black and white until 1976. Similarly, 16:9 widescreen broadcasts from Channel did not begin until early 2008 – many years after the rest of the network, the rest of which was largely widescreen capable by the launch of digital television in 1998.

The small size of the station, once described as 'television in miniature', while having implications for the profitability of the company, has on the whole been to its advantage: it has an extremely close relationship with its viewership, reflecting daily life and government in the islands, and while not producing large numbers of programmes for the ITV Network at the start of the 21st century, it does produce some five-and-a-half hours a week of programmes for its own area, including the local nightly news magazine Channel Report. This has posed a challenge, as the bailiwicks are politically separate not only from the UK, but also from one another. Channel also produces the children's programme Puffin's Pla(i)ce, which was first broadcast in 1964.

Although not widely known, it has been reported that in 2000, amid takeovers of the other licensees by Carlton, Granada and SMG, Channel Television had plans to buy HTV, valuing the company at £450 million.[3] HTV had become available after Granada acquired it as part of United News and Media's broadcasting assets, but were forced to sell it to comply with ownership regulations. Part of the reason why the company was targeted was that the management buy-in group that had taken over Channel Television earlier in the same year was led by two former HTV executives - Huw Davies (chief executive) and David Jenkins (finance director). In the end, the bid either failed or was abandoned; Granada sold HTV to Carlton and Channel Television itself was sold again, this time to Iliffe News and Media, part of the privately-owned Yattendon Group plc.

Strikes and disputes

Channel was the only ITV franchise not to be affected by the technicians' strike in the summer of 1968, as it was understood by all that any strike action would probably put the company out of business. Similarly, it was not severely affected locally by the ITV strike of August–October 1979, when the rest of the ITV Network was blacked out for ten weeks by another technicians' dispute; while the rest of the network was displaying an on-screen caption, Channel Television continued to broadcast twelve-hours-a-day of films and local news bulletins, as well as other programmes from the ITV archives.

Franchise rounds

Channel Television was not challenged for its licence in the 1967 and 1980 franchise rounds; it defeated a challenger for its franchise, CI3 TV, in the 1991 franchise rounds, with a bid of £1,000 (the minimum bid possible). Channel has since kept its franchise and, in 1999, signed contracts (along with the other ITV companies) to keep their franchises for the next ten years. This was superseded, by a new franchise deal with Ofcom in 2004 which Channel signed. Channel's license is therefore set to run out in 2014.

Compliance controversy

On May 18, 2008, the Sunday Times published a newspaper article which described Channel Television's role in compliance for the ITV network as a loophole which enabled ITV to lessen a possible fine for breaching Ofcom regulations during the 2005 British Comedy Awards. During the programme Robbie Williams presented an award to Ant and Dec which should have gone to Catherine Tate, who had received a greater number of phone-in votes.[4] Because the maximum fine which Ofcom can levy is calculated as a percentage of the offending broadcaster's advertising revenue, Channel TV is designated as responsible for compliance for about 40% of ITV's shows. Channel TV being ITV's smallest franchise, it has by far the lowest income, and thus potential exposure to the regulator's fines is minimised. Channel has no involvement in making the programmes other than the responsibility for compliance.[5]


Channel's studio complex is located at La Pouquelaye near St Helier on the island of Jersey. The station was originally based at Rouge Bouillon before moving to its present complex in 1988.[6] The complex houses a main studio for Channel Report, Report Sport & special local programmes and a smaller continuity studio used for Puffin's Pla(i)ce.

Channel also operates from a Guernsey studio & office at Bulwer Avenue in St Sampson and a London office near ITV plc's studio base.


Logo used from 2001-2005.

Channel Television's first on screen logo featured six hexagons, laid out five below linked together with one on top with a stylised cat's head inside it. The five hexagons below represent the five main channel islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm, and the ident is animated so that each hexagon appears in turn accompanied by one note of the jingle, along with the name. This ident lasted until colour came to the region in the mid 1970s, with only one slight variation in the positioning of the channel name.[7]

The first colour ident used by Channel involved a striped CTV, which would serve as the station logo until 1999. The first ident featured this static logo made of orange stripes on a white outline against a blue background with a soundtrack of a brass fanfare. This same fanfare was later used when Channel launched their next ident, featuring the lines of the CTV logo spinning into place, coloured gold against a black background. This was introduced c.1985, and was utilised for the stations 25th Anniversary in 1987, when each line of the CTV logo was drawn out, before spinning back to be joined by a striped 25.[7]

In the early 1990s, Channel aired their first computer generated ident, featuring the CTV logo, initially silver, but turned gold by two sideways flashes, falling backwards onto the gradiented blue background. This logo was accompanied by a dramatic score, which was later improved, along with the ident, in 1993. The improvements kept the theme, however repositioned the logo, changed the background to a navy blue, made the logo itself bigger and gold throughout and, most noticeably, improved the music making it less dramatic and giving it a softer feel.[7]

Both during this period and before it, Channel was also notable for using a clock on the channel. This practice was not uncommon in the other regions in the 1970s and early 1980s, but the practive was dropped. However Channel kept the clock well into the 1990s, using it to introduce news. Channel also, unusually would announce the local temperature over the clock prior to the following programme, a practice not used elsewhere in the ITV network. Today, no clock is used, however this is still performed, with a local Time, Temp, Tide check at 6pm prior to Channel Report.[7]

In 1998, Channel adopted a different feel to presentation. The CTV logo remained, both on end captions and as the company logo, however on screen Channel utilised the device of the word 'Channel' writing in a variety of fonts arranged in circles and moving, spinning and pulsating to a tune of a simple jingle. This look was not to last however, as the second ITV generic look occurred in 1999, which Channel adopted. This look, based on the theme of hearts, also provided Channel with a new logo, featuring a globe with the Channel islands on it being orbited by two comets, whose trails make a heart shape. Channel used the generic look, albeit with their own soundtrack, until 2002. The generic look was used for network programmes, with regional ones using a large Channel logo over the spinning hearts background. When the celebrity idents came, Channel used a variation, where the left side of the screen was taken up by their logo. A number of idents were used featuring different celebrities, some local ones made by Channel themselves, were used, and in 2002 a special ident to celebrate the channels 40th Anniversary was introduced featuring former station logos.[7]

In late 2004, Channel used idents of scenes from around the Channel Islands, with the logo in a stripe down the left side of the screen. In addition some elements of the network branding was also used.[7]

Since 2006, Channel, whilst being fiercely independent and regional, has now adopted a variation of the national ITV1 network branding and also shares continuity, due to it receiving a non-clean feed of networked programming from Meridian Broadcasting. While the branding is very similar to regions owned by ITV plc, Channel Television uses an older ITV1 logo with white letters on its idents supplemented by the wording 'Channel Television' and pre-recorded local continuity announcements are used at key junctions - including prior to national and regional news and on the handover from ITV Breakfast at 9.25am. Typically this is "This is Channel Television, ITV in the Channel Islands", or at the handover from ITV Breakfast, "It's 9:25 and you're watching Channel Television, your local ITV station". These idents also use music from the original emotion idents, rather than the updated jingle and music. It is the only ITV company to take the network branding without being a part of ITV plc.[7]



Contributions to network and multiregion series

Although Channel made little for the ITV network, they did contribute to a number of roadshow and anthology series which were collaboratively produced in a number of the smaller TV regions.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, following the introduction of daytime television to ITV, a number of smaller regions contributed programmes to the network either as series in their own right, or as episodes in the collaborative About Britain strand. This saw a number of regional contractors offer up programmes on life and culture in their part of the country - either as dedicated prodctions for the strand or (more commonly) as rebroadcasts of programmes originally produced for local consumption. Channel was among the regions to contribute films to the About Britain strand.

In the 1980s and 1990s Channel was among the roster of regions contributing episodes to two series which travelled the UK to broadcast each episode from a different location; these were Sunday evening religious series Highway (1983–93) and weekday morning talk show strand The Time, The Place (1987–98). Each series would have a 'home region' which would administrate and coordinate central functions (Tyne Tees Television for Highway and Anglia Television for The Time, The Place), with the production of each programme being handled by the local ITV contractor; thus, when the shows came to the Channel Islands, they used Channel's facilities.

Between 1986 and 1991, ITV's summer Saturday morning children's programming would take the form of a travelling roadshow, which again would be produced by the local ITV franchise of the visited area in partnership with a 'home region' (in this case Tyne Tees). The two series which followed this format were Get Fresh (1986–88) and Ghost Train (1989–91).

Channel's most recent significant on-screen contribution to the ITV network was the gameshow Simply the Best (2004) which was produced in Jersey as a co-production between Channel and London-based Carlton Television.

Other programmes

  • The Lonely Man (1963)
  • The Bitter Years (1970)
  • Jambo: The Gentle Giant (one-off documentary, 1986)
  • The Dodo Club (1987-9)
  • Bertie the Bat (1990)
  • Island (1996-7)


At the end of Spring 2011, Channel Television launched ctvPlayer. Local programming such as Channel Report and Report Sport can be watched for up to 30 days. National programming such as This Morning and Emmerdale can also be viewed through ctvPlayer. As of August 2011, the player is still in beta[8]


External links

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