The battle for ITV's£200m news contract kicked off last week as bidders ITN and Channel 3 News took receipt of the much anticipated tender document, writes Simon Ellery.
The highly confidential 16-page document provides a comprehensive overview of ITV's news ambitions for the next five years. ITV shareholders are keen to build up the ITV news brand. ITV has asked bidders to create an interactive news proposition linked to its proposed website. While will launch in the autumn, the online news service will not be available until 2003.

ITN, the incumbent which has held the contract since 1955, and Channel 3 News, made up of BSkyB, Chrysalis Group, CBS, Bloomberg and Ulster TV, have been asked to submit a detailed plan of their proposed coverage including information on resources, presenters and fees by 31 July. The new five-year contract will come into effect from 1 January next year.