Granada Industrial Dispute in ITV’s future? 

25 November 2003 tbs.pm/778

Media Guardian reports that staff at Granada Media belonging to the NUJ, Bectu and Amicus will vote on strike action in a pay dispute after Granada imposed a 2% pay rise.

If the strike went ahead, it would affect output across all seven of Granada Media’s ITV franchises.

This is a large blow for ITV and Granada, coming just a couple of months before the merger between Carlton and Granada takes place.

This highlights the danger of allowing ITV to be consolidated into one company. ITV’s strength lay in the fact it was not one comapny but many companies. Such a strength should be particularly obvious now. Under the old-style ITV, you had 15 major production centres, and 15 companies that could have by now been working separately to create a myriad of channels in the multi-channel arena, alongside network ITV’s efforts.

Instead we’ve had 3 companies trying to enter multi-channel arena, Carlton via cable channels and OnDigital, Granada via GSkyB and Scottish TV via Sky Scottish. Of all of these, mainly lacklustre efforts, only GSkyB remains with Plus and Men & Motors, alongside ITV2 and the ITV News Channel. GSkyB may not survive much longer as there are plans to transfer the material that Plus uses into an ITV Gold channel, and Men & Motors is hardly able to run by itself as a “primary” channel without Plus to pull in some prestiege advertisers for the prestiege programming.

Add to this, that this industrial dispute could take out, temporarily, half the ITV network in one go, and the ever present possibility that this new ITV plc company could fail, and by doing so take out not only most of the ITV network, but about a third of all new production in this country, and we are talking serious consequences that very few people seemed to have noticed. It could mean the end of the UK as a major television producer, with the US becoming more dominant than ever before.

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Ian Beaumont Contact More by me

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Liverpool, Thursday 2 December 2021