ITV “welcomes” CRR consultation

ITV has welcomed the Competition Commission’s provisional report into the Contract Rights Renewal mechanism, despite the body’s view that it should be largely maintained.

Michael Grade
Michael Grade

The broadcaster is responding to the consultation and provisional decision that has today (September 15) been unveiled by CC that could see a partial relaxation of the mechanism.

ITV has long called for the abolition of CRR in response to the changing market place but for now appears to be committed to playing its part in the consultation process.

As part of the review, the CC is seeking views on the widening the definition of ITV1 to include an ITV+1 time shifted channel and ITV1 High Definition.

ITV executive chairman and outgoing chief executive Michael Grade (pictured) says: “We look forward to engaging with the Competition Commission over the next three weeks to identify which post-CRR option best serves the interests of ITV Plc, its viewers and advertisers.

“We would like to put on record our appreciation of the time and effort the Competition Commission has put into this review to date and we look forward to the completion of the review in time for the upcoming deal season.”

Meanwhile, ISBA the industry body representing advertisers has welcomed the decision to maintain the CRR mechanism.

Bob Wootton ISBA director of media and advertising says: “We recognise the continuing importance of a strong ITV as the most significant way advertisers can address consumers. However, in a changing media world and as digital roll-out progresses this will no doubt change. Within this new landscape ITV’s economic power to dictate terms and prices will also change, allowing CRR to be modified and then, at some point, ended.

“ITV should take comfort from this decision which reinforces the key position of the broadcaster’s offering to Britain’s advertisers.”

The CC is now inviting interested parties to comment on the provisional decision and suggest possible changes to the mechanism until 6 October. It is expecting to make a final decision by the end of the year.

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