United Kingdom Independent Broadcasting

United Kingdom Independent Broadcasting (UKIB) is an affiliation of three British independent television production companies and broadcasters. The primary function of its predecessor, the Independent Television Companies Association (ITCA), was to represent independent British television interests as a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The current members of UKIB are the ITV network centre, the 4 ITV licence holders, Channel 4, and S4C.

United Kingdom Independent Broadcasting
PredecessorIndependent Television Companies Association (ITCA)
Formation1981 (1981)
TypeAffiliation of broadcasters
ITV, Channel 4, S4C
Official language
English, Welsh


UKIB was formed in 1981, when the Association of Independent Radio Contractors (AIRC)[1] was admitted as an active member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It replaced the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), formerly the Independent Television Authority (ITA) as the second British EBU member.

Once ITCA was admitted as a fully active EBU member, the AIRC joined with UKIB to form the Commercial Radio Companies Association (CRCA) in June 1996. In July 2006, it merged with the Radio Advertising Bureau to form Radiocentre, the industry body for UK commercial radio.[2] Following the merger, CRCA cancelled its EBU membership.[3][4]

The IBA continued to exist until it was disbanded by the Broadcasting Act 1990, which replaced it with the Independent Television Commission (ITC) and the Radio Authority.[5]


Service name Broadcast area Licence holder[6] Broadcast since[Note 1] Parent company EBU abbreviation
ITV Network
United Kingdom, Channel Islands, and Isle of ManITV Network Limited1955ITV plc
STV Group plc
ITV (Channel 3) companies
ITV AngliaEast of EnglandITV Broadcasting Limited1959ITV plcUKIB/ITV/ANG
ITV BorderEngland–Scotland borderITV Broadcasting Limited1961ITV plcUKIB/ITV/BTV
ITV CentralMidlands[Note 2]ITV Broadcasting Limited1956ITV plcUKIB/ITV/CEN
ITV Channel TelevisionChannel IslandsITV Broadcasting Limited1962ITV plcUKIB/ITV/CHA
ITV GranadaNorth West England[Note 3] and Isle of Man[Note 4]ITV Broadcasting Limited1956ITV plcUKIB/ITV/GRA
ITV London (Carlton)London WeekdayITV Broadcasting Limited1955ITV plcUKIB/ITV/LDN
ITV London (LWT)London WeekendITV Broadcasting Limited1955ITV plc
ITV MeridianSouth and South East EnglandITV Broadcasting Limited1958ITV plcUKIB/ITV/MER
ITV Tyne TeesNorth East EnglandITV Broadcasting Limited1959ITV plcUKIB/ITV/TTT
ITV WalesWalesITV Broadcasting Limited1958ITV plcUKIB/ITV/WALES
ITV WestWest of EnglandITV Broadcasting Limited1958ITV plcUKIB/ITV/WEST
ITV West CountrySouth West EnglandITV Broadcasting Limited1961ITV plcUKIB/ITV/WES
ITV YorkshireYorkshire, Lincolnshire, and North NorfolkITV Broadcasting Limited1956ITV plcUKIB/ITV/YTV
STV CentralCentral ScotlandSTV Central Limited1957STV Group plcUKIB/STV
STV NorthNorth of ScotlandSTV North Limited1961STV Group plcUKIB/STVN
UTVNorthern IrelandUTV Limited1959ITV plcUKIB/ITV/UTV
Channel 4
Channel 4England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland[Note 5]Channel 41982Channel Four Television CorporationUKIB/C4
S4CWalesSianel 4 Cymru/Channel 4 Wales1982S4C AuthorityUKIB/S4C

Digital channels

Besides the main ITV, Channel 4, and S4C channels, there are several digital-only channels (ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, CITV and ITVBe) owned by ITV plc and E4, More4, Film4, 4seven and 4Music operated by Channel 4.

Eurovision Song Contest

The United Kingdom's entries in the Eurovision Song Contest have been entered by the BBC each time. However, the United Kingdom's Junior Eurovision Song Contest entries were broadcast and selected by ITV from 2003 to 2005, before ITV withdrew in 2006 due to low viewing figures. ITV were also set to host the 2004 contest in Manchester, but pulled out of hosting due to financial and scheduling issues, as well as the previous years poor viewing figures. The contest was eventually held in Lillehammer, Norway.[7]

S4C announced on 9 May 2018 that Wales would debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018 held in Minsk, Belarus.[8] However, S4C withdrew from the contest in 2020, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for their withdrawal, and have not returned since.[9] On 25 August 2022, it was confirmed that the United Kingdom would return to the contest in 2022 in Yerevan, Armenia, with the BBC replacing ITV as the country’s broadcaster.[10]

Notes and references


  1. First broadcast in that region and not since the first franchises were held
  2. Up to 1968, the service for the Midlands region was provided by ATV from Monday to Friday and by ABC Weekend TV at weekends.
  3. Up to 1968, the service for a single Northern area consisting of both the current North West region and most of the current Yorkshire region was provided by Granada Television from Monday to Friday and by ABC Weekend TV at weekends.
  4. Coverage was transferred from ITV Border and Tyne Tees to ITV Granada following digital switch-over in the Isle of Man in July 2009.
  5. Now available in Wales but is designated for the rest of the United Kingdom


  1. Barnard, Stephen (2000). Studying Radio. London: Arnold. p. 76. ISBN 9780340719664.
  2. "Facts - History". 31 May 2015. Archived from the original on 31 May 2015.
  3. "european-broadcasting-union-ebu-directory-cullen-international". yumpu.com.
  4. "2007 EBU Directory". 21 May 2018 via Internet Archive.
  5. "BFI Screenonline: 1990 Broadcasting Act". www.screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  6. "Channel 3 (ITV)". Ofcom. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  7. "Confirmation of Manchester as original host". 4 October 2012. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012.
  8. "Chwilio am Seren". junioreurovision.cymru. S4C. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  9. Farren, Neil (14 July 2020). "Wales: Withdraws From Junior Eurovision". Eurovoix. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  10. "United Kingdom returns to Junior Eurovision". Junioreurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. 25 August 2022.
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