menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Archive (2002-)



Click to see updates

How do the new ITV local news regions compare with the BBC?

I thought it might be interesting to look at the differences in the provision of local news on BBC1 and ITV (or UTV or STV) once ITV plc implements the local news changes.

I thought it might be interesting to look at the differences in
published on UK Free TV

The starting point, if you wish to look yourself is the BBC nations and regions - overview map and ITV, UTV and STV regions - overview map pages.

BBC and ITV national regional services match

In the following regions, the BBC and ITV services have the same geographical coverage and the services are a full half-hour of regional news weekday evenings. The percentages in brackets are the proportion of the total UK population served.

BBC London and ITV London (18.46%)
BBC North West Tonight and ITV Granada (11.44%)
BBC Wales and ITV Wales (4.51%)
BBC Northern Ireland and UTV (2.15%)
BBC Channel Islands and ITV Channel (0.28%)

BBC provides more than ITV

In the following regions, the BBC and ITV services have the same geographical coverage and the services are a full half-hour of regional news weekday evenings on BBC One, but just 20 minutes on ITV.

BBC West Midlands and ITV Central West (11.72%)
BBC Yorkshire and ITV Calendar North (7.45%)
BBC Points West and ITV West Country East (3.77%)
BBC Lincolnshire + E Yorkshire and ITV Calendar South (2.75%)
BBC Spotlight South West and ITV West Country West (2.71%)
BBC East Midlands and ITV Central East (2.40%)

ITV will be more local than the BBC

The Anglia region is served by a 30 minute programme on the BBC, which has about 10 minutes of opt-out for the Cambridge side of the region. ITV will be providing 20 minutes of dedicated news for both Anglia East and Anglia West.

The BBC North East region covers an area which ITV split between ITV Tyne Tees (5.37%) and ITV Border (England) (0.86%).

ITV Tyne Tees will have 20 minutes of local news, as will Border. The BBC will provide 30 minutes of news covering both the east and west.

Scotland: STV wins

The nation of Scotland is covered by a single BBC region (in HD), but gets coverage from five regions on channel 3:

STV Central (Glasgow), 3.40%
STV North (Aberdeen) (1.08%)
STV Central (Edinburgh), 0.85%
STV North (Dundee), (0.38%)
Border (Scotland), (0.18%)

Ofcom "have also decided that the licence for Border should require separate DTT transmissions for the English and Scottish areas. It will be a matter for ITV if it decides to provide split satellite transmissions – these are not provided under PSB licences. "

See also Micro Regions - STV Sales.

ITV Meridian: it's complicated

The only part of England where there is significant difference in the provision of news services between ITV and the BBC is in the South East of England.

The BBC provides two main programmes BBC South Today (from Southampton) and BBC South East Today (from Tunbridge Wells). The BBC also provides a 15 minute opt-out from South Today for Oxfordshire.

Under the new proposals, there will be two 20 minutes programmes on ITV - ITV Meridian South Coast and ITV Meridian South East.

However, Meridian South East is not the same area as BBC South East. It doesn't include the Brighton and Hove conurbation, and it does include much of West Sussex (served by the Midhurst transmitter region) which is in the BBC Southampton area.

The Hannington transmitter area - the M3/M4 corridor area also known as the Thames Valley, joins with Oxfordshire on ITV to form a TWO MINUTE opt-out from an ITV programme that covers the same as BBC Southampton (minus Brighton and Midhurst).

So, in Oxfordshire you get 15 minutes from the BBC and 2 minutes covering a larger area from ITV. It is notable that the current situation, where the Oxford transmitter doesn't provide a full opt-out is actually breaking the licence condition.

Note that, technically the Oxford transmitter remains part of the ITV Central region. ITV Sales still use "Central South" to describe the Ridge Hill and Oxford transmitter areas.

Super served? Ridge Hill

For historical reasons, if you are served directly by the Ridge Hill transmitter, you have an extra ITV broadcast to you. You don't just get ITV Central West, but also ITV West Country East. No such choice is provided by the BBC on Freeview.

Regions by population

It is probably worth remembering in the UK, most of the population lives in the urban areas, with rural areas having very low population density. This diagram shows the relative population sizes of the BBC nations and regions:

Help with TV/radio stations?
BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
Will car radios have to be replaced?2
Will UKTV History and FTN eventually be available on fSfS or Freesat? They are 3
Could u please explain why there are no subtitles on most of your films terresti4
Can I pay as you go for British Europsort on my digital tv without subscribing?5
In this section
The lower the channel number in the guide, the more viewers it gets ... Right?1
New Freeview and Freesat channel TruTV to start soon2
Why does BBC Worldwide not make more profit for the Licence Fee payer?3
A short history of Border TV4
Want more local news? ITV is going to provide it5
The end of the HTV legacy? ITV licence to move HTV West to West Country East6

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

10:36 AM

Ridge Hill-Is only super served to the South-East of the service area directed towards Glos and Cheltenham

link to this comment
Aerialman's 140 posts GB flag

2:51 PM

Aerialman: If only we had the radiation pattern...

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 7 August 2013

8:56 PM

Hmm Meridian was even better pre 2009 before the cut backs, all those great outside weather reports also in the Kent region !

link to this comment
Dave's 126 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 14 August 2013

12:37 AM

Dave: The point of the ITV changes is to restore the Kent/East Sussex Meridian service.

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Richard Bell
12:48 AM

ITV Channel TV provides a full half hour, but BBC Channel Islands only provides 15 minutes or so before joining up with Spotlight for the rest of the half hour.

link to this comment
Richard Bell's 6 posts GB flag
Monday, 14 July 2014
R watts
9:17 AM

Is Anglia west going to be available on freesat at the moment we have bbc east/west which comes from Cambridge and covers the Northampton and Bedford area Anglia does not on freesat

link to this comment
R watts's 2 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 July 2014

8:46 AM

R watts: You can see the Freesat (and Sky) channel numbers to select any BBC region to watch on this page

Which BBC regions are on satellite? | - 12 years of independent, free digital TV advice

[NC] East(E): Look East (East, Norwich) Sky 981 Freesat 953

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Thursday, 24 July 2014
bernard hunt

11:30 AM

RE SUPERSERVED RIDGE HILL a belated reply to 'aerial man ' of 2013! Although primarily ' ridge hill -west country east ' is mostly aimed at west glos , reception is generally available in most parts of its area though at reduced signal levels . However, ignore the uk digital postcode checker printouts which have censored it completely for most but not all other parts of the radiation pattern ! WEIRD , I do wonder what their reasoning is for their incomprehensible ,inaccurate and unhelpful attitude ?

Bernard Hunt
Chief Engineer
Hunts TV Group

link to this comment
bernard hunt's 25 posts GB flag

8:42 PM

Bernard Hunt,thank you for that.....yes i can see that from measuring general signal levels in different locations.
In favoured spots north of The Ridge hill service area where signal levels are good,i can pick up the extra ITV Mux/Ch29....between 25-30db down on the other services...which of course is a bonus!to receive another regional news magazine.

link to this comment
Aerialman's 140 posts GB flag
Monday, 16 July 2018
Donald MacLeod
8:57 PM

I am confused
I watch STV on freeview 103 and I get news from Glasgow but if I tune to 003 I get news from Aberdeen
Why is this as I thought 103 was just the same except in HD but?

link to this comment
Donald MacLeod's 3 posts GB flag
Select more comments
Page 1

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.