ITV buys out NTL to take control of News Channel

Jones: committed to news

ITV has assumed full control of the ITV News Channel following its purchase of cable television operator NTL Europe’s 35 per cent stake in the rolling news service.

The move is being seen by the industry as a dress rehearsal for ITV’s potential ownership of ITV News, for which its has campaigned in the past and will benefit from cross-promotion on ITV1 and ITV2.

“Gaining total control of the ITV News Channel is a further demonstration of ITV’s commitment to news,” said Clive Jones, chief executive of the ITV News Group.

“The ITV News Channel has already established itself as a real alternative to the other 24-hour news services, offering the same high production values associated with ITV News.”

ITV News Channel editor Dominic Crossley-Holland said the service will make more use of ITV regional news operations, which will be “a massive area of growth and change” for the channel.

The channel launched as the ITN News Channel in 2000, as a joint venture between ITN and NTL, but the news broadcaster sold its 65 per cent stake to Carlton and Granada in June 2002.

By November 2003, the network rebranded the station to ITV News Channel and a year later earmarked a seven-figure sum for its recent revamp.

ITN has a contract to supply news for the channel running until 2009.

by Wale Azeez

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