1. Selects the programme companies

2. Supervises the programme planning
3. Controls the advertising
4. Transmits the programmes

In 1954 Parliament authorized the creation of a new pattern of British television services, additional to those of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Unlike the BBC, however, Independent Television (popularly termed ITV) is paid for by the sale of advertising time; no income is received from licence fees or other public funds. The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) [then the Independent Television Authority] was created to provide these public television services of information, education and entertainment throughout the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

The Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1973, which sets out the basic principles for Independent Television, contains many provisions about programmes, advertising and other important matters. The central responsibility for administering the Act is placed on the Independent Broadcasting Authority, appointed by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications.

The Authority comprises a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman and nine Members. Three of the Members have as their special care the interests of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The present Chairman is the Rt. Hon. Lord Aylestone, CBE, appointed on 1st September 1967.

The Authority is aided by advisory committees. In addition to the General Advisory Council and the Scottish, Northern Ireland and Welsh Committees, the following deal with specific subjects: the Advertising Advisory Committee and the Medical Advisory Panel; the Central and the Scottish Appeals Advisory Committees; the Central Religious Advisory Committee and the Panel of Religious Advisers; and the Educational Advisory Council, the Schools Committee, and the Adult Education Committee. The Complaints Review Board investigates complaints from the public or from persons appearing in programmes about the content of programmes transmitted or the preparation of programmes for transmission.

The staff of the IBA, led by its Director General (Brian Young), totals about 1,270, of whom about 750 are administrative and technical staff at the London headquarters and at Crawley near Winchester, 435 engineers and others at the transmitters, and 85 regional staff.

From July 1972 Parliament extended the functions of the IBA (formerly the Independent Television Authority) so as to include the provision of local sound broadcasting services financed by advertising.

Within the terms of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act the IBA decides the general pattern of Independent Television and performs four main functions:

1. The IBA selects and appoints the programme companies

The IBA does not itself produce programmes. Fifteen separate programme companies are under contract with the IBA to provide the programme service in fourteen areas (London is served by two companies, one for weekdays and one for weekends). The companies obtain their revenue from the sale of advertising time in their own areas. They pay a rental to cover the costs of the IBA in administering the system and in operating its national network of transmitters. In addition to normal company taxes the programme companies must pay an Exchequer Levy related to their revenues. National and international news bulletins are provided by Independent Television News Limited (ITN), owned by all the programme companies.

2. The IBA supervises the programme planning

Although the creative content of the programmes is the concern of the individual programme companies, the IBA ensures that the output of each company is of high quality and provides a proper balance of information, education and entertainment. Each company must draw up its programme schedule in consultation with the IBA, which may require alterations before it is approved for transmission. The IBA also requires specific periods of time to be allocated to special classes of programmes such as education, religion, news, documentaries, and programmes serving local tastes and interests. The IBA must also ensure, so far as possible, accuracy in news, impartiality in matters of controversy, and the maintenance of good taste; and for these purposes may call for detailed advance information about specific programmes or for previews before their transmission.

Independent Television has made a major contribution to the emergence of television as a main form of relaxation, a main source of information and a growing medium of education. Not least, Independent Television, by its federal structure, has brought a strong regional element into British television: a regional identification and a regional vitality. Its programmes attract over 50 per cent of the viewing audience. This has been achieved, moreover, solely on revenue from advertising. No part of the licence fee comes to Independent Television. Indeed, the Exchequer draws substantial sums from the industry, not only in normal taxation but also in special levies.

Since the withdrawal of Government controls over the hours of broadcasting the total programme output has increased considerably. Allowing for variations in programme patterns between regions, the following diagram gives a broad indication of the general balance of programmes presented to Independent Television viewers:

3. The IBA controls the advertising

The frequency, amount and nature of the advertisements must be in accordance with the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act and the extensive rules and principles laid down by the IBA. No programmes are sponsored by advertisers: there must be a total distinction between programmes and advertisements. Advertising is limited to six minutes an hour, averaged over the day’s programmes, with normally a maximum of seven minutes in any single ‘clock-hour’ (e.g. 6-7 p.m., 7-8 p.m.).

4. The IBA transmits the programmes

The IBA builds, owns and operates all transmitters radiating ITV programmes, allocating transmitters to carry programmes presented by the various programme companies. The UHF network provides colour/black-and-white pictures on 625 lines. At the end of 1973, over 100 UHF stations cover more than 93% of the population; a further 45 UHF stations are due to open by about the end of 1974. The VHF network of 47 transmitters provides black-and-white pictures on 405 lines covering 98∙7% of the population. The 405-line VHF monochrome services are likely to continue at least until 1980 and possibly to 1985.

IBA Television Transmission Areas


15 Programme Companies


and ITN, Independent Television News Ltd, jointly owned by all the programme companies to provide national and international news

The Programme Companies

Anglia Television Ltd

Head Office: Anglia House, Norwich NOR 07A Tel: Norwich (0603) 28366
London Office: Brook House, 113 Park Lane, London W1Y 4DX Tel: 01-493 8331
Sales offices at Manchester (Tel: 061-833 0688), Hull (Tel: Hull (0482) 20101) and Grimsby (Tel: Grimsby (0472) 57026)

East of England

ATV Network Ltd

ATV Centre, Birmingham B1 2JP
Tel: 021-643 9898
ATV Studio Centre, Eldon Avenue, Borehamwood, Herts.
Tel: 01-953 6100
ATV House, 17 Great Cumberland Place, London W1H 1AG
Tel: 01-262 8040


Border Television Ltd

Television Centre, Carlisle CA1 3NT Tel: 0288 25101
33 Margaret Street, London W1N 7LA Tel: 01-323 4711

The Borders and Isle of Man

Channel Television

The Television Centre, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Tel: Jersey Central (0534) 23451
Les Arcades, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Tel: Guernsey (0481) 23451

Channel Islands

Grampian Television Ltd

Queen’s Cross, Aberdeen AB9 2XJ Tel: Aberdeen (0224) 53553
103-105 Marketgait, Dundee DD1 1QT Tel: Dundee (0382) 21777

North-East Scotland

Granada Television Ltd

Granada TV Centre, Manchester M60 9EA
Tel: 061-832 7211
36 Golden Square, London W1R 4AH Tel: 01-734 8080



HTV Wales, The Television Centre, Cardiff CF1 9XL
Tel: Cardiff (0222) 26633
HTV West, The Television Centre, Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3HG Tel: Bristol (0272) 70271
HTV Limited, 99 Baker Street, London WIM 2AJ
Tel: 01-486 4311

Wales and West of England

London Weekend Television Ltd

South Bank Television Centre, Kent House, Upper Ground, London SE1 9LT Tel: 01-261 3434
Film and Outside Broadcast Base: Wycombe Road, Wembley, Middlesex Tel: 01-902 0102
Northern Sales Office: Thomson House, 1-23 Withy Grove, Manchester M60 4BJ Tel: 061-832 2902

London (weekends)

Scottish Television Ltd

Theatre Royal, Hope Street, Glasgow G2 3PR Tel: 041-332 9999
70 Grosvenor Street, London W1X 0BT Tel: 01-493 5201
Station Tower, Coventry CV1 2GR Tel: Coventry (0203) 29724
Thomson House, Withy Grove, Manchester M60 4BJ Tel: 061-834 7621
The Gateway, Edinburgh EH7 4AH Tel: 031-556 5372

Central Scotland

Southern Television Ltd

Southern Television Centre, Northam, Southampton SO9 4YQ Tel: Southampton (0703) 28582
Glen House, Stag Place, London SW1E 5AX 01-834 4404
Dover Studio, Russell Street, Dover Tel: Dover (0304) 202303
Also at Maidstone (0622) 53114, Dorchester (0305) 3324, Brighton (0273) 29053 and Reading (0734) 57515
Sales offices at Manchester 061-236 2882/0893 and Coventry (0203) 29551/2

South of England

Thames Television Ltd

Thames Television House, 306-316 Euston Road, London NW1 3BB Tel: 01-387 9494
Teddington Studios, Teddington Lock, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9NT Tel: 01-977 3252
Sales Office: Norfolk House, Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham B5 4LJ Tel: 021-643 9151

London (weekdays)

Tyne Tees Television Ltd

The Television Centre, City Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2AL Tel: Newcastle upon Tyne (0632) 610181
Trident House, 15/16 Brooks Mews, London W1Y 1LF Tel: 01-492 1237
Brazennose House, Brazennose Street, Manchester M2 5BP Tel: 061-834 4228/9

North-East England

Ulster Television Ltd

Havelock House, Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 1EB
Tel: (0232) 28122
19 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JJ
Tel: 01-486 5211

Northern Ireland

Westward Television Ltd

Derry’s Cross, Plymouth PL1 2SP Tel: Plymouth (0752) 69311
11 Connaught Place, Marble Arch, London W2 2EU Tel: 01-402 5531
Dominion House, 23-25 St Augustine’s Parade, The Centre Bristol 1 Tel: Bristol (0272) 292240

South-West England

Yorkshire Television Ltd

The Television Centre, Leeds LS3 1JS Tel: Leeds (0LE2) 38283
Trident House, 15/16 Brooks Mews, London W1Y 1LF Tel: 01-493 1237
Charter Square, Sheffield S1 3EJ Tel: Sheffield (0742) 23262
Paragon Street, Hull Tel: Hull (0482) 24488
2 Saltergate, Lincoln Tel: Lincoln (0522) 30738
Brazennose House, Brazennose Street, Manchester M2 5BP Tel: 061-834 4228/9


Independent Television News Limited

ITN, ITN House, 48 Wells Street, London W1P 3FE
Tel: 01-637 2424

Provides the national and international news programmes for all IBA areas.

Independent Television Companies Association Limited

Knighton House, 52-66 Mortimer Street, London W1N 8AN
Tel: 01-636 6866

Acts on behalf of all the programme companies on certain matters of common interest

The British Bureau of Television Advertising Limited

Knighton House, 52-66 Mortimer Street, London W1N 8AN
Tel: 01-636 6866

Formed by all the programme companies in 1966 to promote television as an advertising medium

Independent Television Publications Ltd

247 Tottenham Court Road, London W1P 0AU
Tel: 01-636 1599

Owned jointly by the programme companies, publishes TVTimes, Look-in and other books and magazines related to Independent Television

Headquarters 70 Brompton Road, London SW3 1EY Tel: 01-584 7011 Telegrams ibaview london Telex 24345

Engineering, Establishments, Finance Crawley Court, Winchester, Hants SO21 2QA Tel: Winchester (0962) 823434 Telex 477211

East of England Century Insurance Building, 24 Castle Meadow, Norwich NOR 02D Tel: Norwich (0603) 23533

Midlands Albany House, Hurst Street, Birmingham B5 4BD Tel: 021-692 1060 (Regional Officer); 021-622 1635/6/7/8 (Regional Engineer (Midlands))

North-East England, The Borders and Isle of Man Gunner House, Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5DF Tel: Newcastle upon Tyne (0632) 610148 & 23710
4 The Crescent, Carlisle CA1 1QN. Tel: Carlisle (0228) 25004

North-West England Astley House, 23 Quay Street, Manchester M3 4AB Tel: 061-834 2707

Northern Ireland 144 University Street, Belfast BT7 1HH Tel: Belfast (0232) 31442/3 (Regional Officer)

Scotland Fleming House, Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6SU Tel: 041-332 8241 (Regional Officer) 

Scotland and Northern Ireland 37 College Way, Dumbarton Tel: Dumbarton (0389) 67516 (Regional Engineer) 

South of England Castle Chambers, Lansdowne Hill, Southampton SO1 OEQ Tel: Southampton (0703) 29115 (Regional Officer); (0703) 30461/2 (Regional Engineer (South)) 

South-West England, Channel Islands Royal London House, Armada Way, Plymouth PL1 1HY Tel: Plymouth (0752) 63031
114 Rouge Bouillon, St Helier, Jersey CI

Wales and West of England Arlbee House, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff CF1 3JG Tel: Cardiff (0222) 28759 & 30205
York House, Bond Street, Bristol BS1 3LQ Tel: Bristol (0272) 421177

Yorkshire Pennine House, Russell Street, Leeds LSI 5RN Tel: Leeds (0532) 36948 (Regional Officer); (0532) 33711/2/3 (Regional Engineer (North))