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13/05/2004

SMG settles differences with ITV over digital rights

Following the recent sale of The Scottish Media Group's (SMG) 25% GMTV stake held to ITV plc, the two companies have reached an agreement on the use of the ITV brand name and the use by ITV plc of SMG's digital spectrum in Scotland.
The agreement ensures ITV plc's rights to use the ITV name for the ITV plc corporate identity it adopted at the time of the merger of Granada plc and Carlton Communications plc, rights that SMG, along with the other ITV franchise holders UTV and Channel Television disputed.
As part of this agreement, SMG has also extended its permission for ITV plc to use some of the digital spectrum of Scottish Television and Grampian Television to transmit its own services. ITV plc currently uses this spectrum to broadcast its wholly-owned digital channels ITV2 and ITV News.
Furthermore, agreement has been reached on a number of other issues, including the cross-promotion of ITV2 and ITV News on the Scottish Television and Grampian Television franchises; programming arrangements for ITV branded channels; and the outsourcing of certain administration functions of the ITV Network Centre to ITV plc.
SMG are keeping the financial details of this agreement confidential for reasond of "commercial sensitivity".
Commenting on the agreement, Andrew Flanagan, Chief Executive of SMG, said: "The ITV name has significant value to all ITV franchise-holders and is synonymous with high quality British television. I'm pleased that we have reached this agreement with ITV plc which clarifies the use of the ITV brand by Scottish TV, Grampian TV and ITV plc."
(GB)
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