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ITV today... Better or worse?

Community Veteran
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ITV today... Better or worse?

Hey all  Cheesy
Many of us are known to moan about how bad the TV is these days and while I find myself thinking the BBC has kind of got its act together and got better in some ways (eg online content, education etc) I also find myself thinking that my childhood favourite channel (ITV) has gone right down the pan!
When I was a kid I lived in the South - which was split into two regions - South and South East (I was in SE). At the time this was covered by a TV station called Television South or TVS: If you were in the region back then you'll remember this:

Before I go further I'll quote another persons comments about the station - in fact stuff it i'll just screen grab his page:

I think that says it all but just to give you an idea of why Coast to Coast was such a great show, it had a really fantastic theme tune / opening credits (which was a continuation from the main TVS Ident and theme):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_h41JLBu1Y
Coast to Coast.in the years that I remember was hosted by Mike Debens and Liz Wickham at anchor with mobile reporters Loyd Bracey, Richard Brock, Phil Hornby (still on the Meridian news sometimes), Cheryl Armitage and others whose names I have forgotten. Then there was the sports anchor Andy Stegall and the weatherman everyone loved Ron Lobeck - who was always the victim of Mikes mild mocking but loved by everyone. It was a great show and from the age of 6 or 7 I was hooked - my earliest memories of it were covering the Herald of free enterprise disaster. I still remember once getting home with my grandparents who'd just bought me a new train set and being grateful that I was home in time to watch Coast to Coast while I was unpacking it and setting it up while looking forward to a repeat of Minder afterwards.
TVS was inspirational. It was upbeat, very positive and employed over 800 staff in order to make its own programmes and there was a sense that the channel had a lot of pride in itself and the viewers it had. The South East area was mainly serviced from the Maidstone studios while the South had another studio (and news team - starring Fred Dineage). It was a massive TV channel and did a lot of incredible things. The quality of entertainment seemed to be a lot higher too.
Then in 92 or 92, they got the axe - thanks to the ITC who ended their franchise after accepting a bid from Meridian. That was a sad time for me. Meridian carried over the news crew to a new show called "Meridian Tonight" and for a while it seemed to work... it was the same anchors, reporters, sports and even the weatherman. The Meridian Ident was indeed a fresh change but even that seemed of lesser quality than the TVS Ident and it turned out to be with good reason - Meridian were not interested in being big and full of pride like TVS, they wanted to just buy in other companies productions, air them and make money on it while only making their own news programmes. As time went on, the quality of the programmes seemed to slide.. and then slide some more... and then more ... until all that seemed to be on was a handful of music talent shows mocking the hopeless. It now turns out that Meridian doesn't even exist anylonger - having expanded, swallowing up other franchises, been bought and sold and eventually stirred into the big ITV pot to become one channel in its own right. The evening news also got the axe from being filmed in its own area and moved off out of the area to another seperate studio  Crazy Then after all that, ITV decided it did want to start making its own programmes again  Roll eyes
So.. after all that franchise rubbish that put TVS off air and completely ruined a great TV channel, it then went back to being what TVS was in the first place but with less quality - what was the point?
So... what do you think? Do you think ITV in general or in your region is better or worse these days? What TV station did you have back then and do you still have a separate station or are you part of the main ITV group now? What were your early experiences of the ITV channel?
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Community Veteran
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

Quote from: 7up
When I was a kid I lived in the South - which was split into two regions - South and South East (I was in SE). At the time this was covered by a TV station called Television South or TVS

I used to look out my window and see the Southern Television building (before it turned into TVS). Great fun there as a kid. Climbing over the fence to look at the piles of film they used to chuck out.
As to your question I don't think it's actually worse it's just so thinned out in general with filler rubbish that it appears worse.
nanotm
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

depending on who tuned the set depended on what channel we received but iirc it was either TSW, central or meridian but that also depended on the time of day and the weather conditions, sometimes we couldn't get any itv channels but all of them were grainy and horrible to watch/
as to the programming content we generally had much better shows on back then although there were game shows they were more about the presenters being funny than about watching yet another bunch of people do the same tricks you watched a different group do last year, or the "scripted reality" non content shows that seem to have been all the programing rage recently /
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

ITV today is just rubbish, they show things on ITV1 that are repeated on ITV2, with repeats on ITV3, followed by repeats on ITV4, and then they go back to ITV1, and it's always the same stuff, not worth watching...
I remember in the 90s it was quite fun to watch ITV (for me it was Granada and Tyne-Tees, depending on where I was at the time) with all the gameshows based on US gameshows (Strike it lucky, Play your cards right, Blockbusters, Catchphrase, The Price is right, and so many more that Challenge now shows), all fast paced and entertaining, now they're all slooooooow and full of false-tension buildups to nothing, and back then everyone always won something regardless of whether they lost or not...
PowerLee
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

It's very rare I watch any of the ITV channels now, only things I recall watching on ITV in the last year are Formula E & some programme about the railways dealing with the weather the other week.
FreddieFlint
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

I don't know if ITV has actually got worse (apart from seemingly endless "reality" shows) more of me growing up and getting, at the risk of sounding snobbish, more sophisticated in my viewing tastes. For me it's BBC all the way these days, specially the European police shows on BBC4 on a Saturday night.
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

Quote from: twocvbloke
I remember in the 90s it was quite fun to watch ITV (for me it was Granada and Tyne-Tees, depending on where I was at the time) with all the gameshows based on US gameshows (Strike it lucky, Play your cards right, Blockbusters, Catchphrase, The Price is right, and so many more that Challenge now shows),

Funny you mention that because according to wikipedia, Challenge TV is now whats left of the former TVS - with the TVS brand itself having been sold off. TVS originally decided to continue its business as an independent programme producer and continue supplying the other networks but they were bought and sold numerous times before being rebranded as ChallengeTV.
So next time you tune in, you are pretty much watching TVS.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_South#Sell_Off
Quote
In Autumn 1992, a number of American companies were interested in acquiring the company, from the likes of TCW Capital, International Family Entertainment Inc. (IFE) and Lorne Michaels.[35] IFE originally made an bid worth £38.2M[36] and received backing from a number of key shareholders for the bid to be accepted.[37] A small number of shareholders, including Julian Tregar, rejected the offer from IFE. In November, TCW Capital made a counter bid,[38] but pulled out a few weeks later after reviewing the accounts of TVS.[39] IFE increased its offer to £45.3M, but continued to be opposed by Julian Tregar who blocked the deal on technical grounds, as they alleged that the offer was too low.[40][41] IFE finally revised and increased the offer to appease the remaining shareholders,[42][43] on 23 January 1993 IFC offer of £56.5M was finally accepted,[44] with the deal being completed on 1 February 1993. In September 1993, IFE launched a UK version of The Family Channel based at The Maidstone Studios and using some elements of the TVS programme archive. Flextech were a partner in the venture, taking a 39% stake in the business.[45]
In 1996, IFE sold its remaining 61% share to Flextech,[46] giving them full ownership of the venture, and subsequently in February 1997 Flextech rebranded the channel to Challenge TV
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Community Veteran
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

Interesting, I'd have thought with the way they seem to be rather sky-oriented that it was owned (at least in part) by the murdoch empire, but it's worse, it's owned by disney.... Shocked
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

As many older people will remember there was only 1 channel to start with, BBC 1 and even that had interludes with a potters wheel or test screen showing, like most new things almost anything they screened was good, this was followed by ITV or granada in our area showing stuff like coronation street which half the population watched, shown as a percentage of the population viewing figures were much higher then.
It was said that once a vast number of channels became available the overall standard would go down but was television better in the early days than it is now.
Personally I do not think so, Television channels have had to change with the times, viewing figures are of vital importance for advertisers so they must broadcast what they think people want.
By sorting through the channels it is possible to find some good stuff but what interests one person may bore others, for example there have been a number of swedish films such as the Bridge, Wallander, etc which I like and things like Capital on BBC 1 tonight.
Equally I have little interest in sport but the coverage of that is much better in certain things such as tennis, racing, so if that's your thing you are ok but others will say there is too much support on tv.
I don't like all these repeats but some people do so.
To sum up it depends what you like as to whether or not tv is better or worse these days but there is so much alternative entertainment these days from DVD's, internet etc that few people are really bothered if tv does not provide what they want.
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

I remember when we had four terrestrial channels available (we did briefly have sky in the late 80s/very early 90s when the mother was selling it door-to-door, but even back then it was nothing to shout about channels-wise), plenty on to watch, nicely balanced time schedules, no need to record two channels while watching one to "catch up" unless it was a movie or something (plus even then VCRs were still pricey so not everyone had one), Channel 5 came along in all its fuzzy glory, adding to the pile, though not really showing much of interest (no real change there!), was fun watching the first new terrestrial channel in the UK since Channel 4, and being the only one in the house able to receive it (smug mode: enable), but that novelty wore off fast...
Then fast-forward to OnDigital, latterly ITV digital, yet more channels, some good, some not, then it flopped (due to many reasons, including bad investment, alleged hacking by "the satellite based opposition" and dodgy gold cards sold on the market) and back to 5 channels, then Freeview came along and now it's many channels with naff all on but repeats of repeats that are repeatedly repeated on channels dedicated to repeating the last channel's repeats of something they repeated earlier that day of a repeat from the week before that was previously repeated hours earlier, gets tedious after a while... Grin
It's like chocolate, once upon a time, lots of high quality cocoa content that made it nice, these days, it's brown fat with loads of sugar and very little cocoa content...
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Re: ITV today... Better or worse?

Quote from: twocvbloke
Interesting, I'd have thought with the way they seem to be rather sky-oriented that it was owned (at least in part) by the murdoch empire, but it's worse, it's owned by disney.... Shocked

Yet oddly when visiting the challenge.co.uk website they link to sky all over the place.
I guess its been a while since the wiki page got updated?
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