ITV has launched a new salvo in the ratings war with BBC 1 by confirming a£25m boost to its programming budget while unveiling a new framework for regional programming, writes Steve Aston
ITV has launched a new salvo in the ratings war with BBC 1 by confirming a £25m boost to its programming budget while unveiling a new framework for regional programming, writes Steve Aston

The money will predominantly be used to boost its drama output - ITV currently has a number of drama series 'on the shelf' with payment pending to screen them. Some of the additional cash will also be used to give a fillip to entertainment and ITV's struggling daytime output.

ITV shareholders will also invest an extra £3m into regional programming, on top of the money put forward for network programming.

The Independent Television Commission has also cleared the network to adopt a new standardised pattern for regional programming. A common pattern of regional slots based on hours will be adopted in the English ITV regions to allow more coherent scheduling of network programmes. Higher levels of regional programming will be produced in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Half of ITV's 27 regions will adopt increased regional news obligations with the late evening news moving to join The News at Ten.