Views on ITV CRR review sought

The Competition Commission (CC) is inviting comments on its review of ITV’s Contract Rights Renewal (CRR) following full publication of the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) advice.

The CC has also unveiled the members of its inquiry group panel, which is to be chaired by CC deputy chair and original CRR review panel member Diana Guy.

The OFT advice, which was compiled in conjunction with the OFT, recommends overall that CRR could be retained in some “less burdensome” form.

It has recommended the CC assess if a “more proportionate remedy….which creates less costs and distortions than CRR” could be found bearing in mind ITV1’s “decline in market share”, but would continue to deal with ITV1’s continuing dominant role in the “supply of mass audiences” to media buyers.

The OFT announced its overall recommendation at the end of last month but has just this week published its full advice minus any commercially sensitive information.

The recommendations follows the OFT’s announcement in January that it supported the relaxation of CRR. Deadline for comments must be received by the CC by the 26th June.

CRR was originally put in place to protect advertisers following the merger of Carlton and Granada in 2003.

Chairman Michael Grade (pictured) announced in April he would step-down at an earlier than planned date at the end of this year.

He had focused on attempting to get CRR overturned as it meant that ITV had to lower ad revenue rates along with declining audience figures.


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