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Central Independent Television

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Central TV logo, 1985-1998
Central TV logo, 1985-1998

Central Independent Television, or to give it its familiar name, Central Television or Central, is a British Independent Television company that took over from ATV on 1 January 1982. Despite a new logo and on-air image, the company was a continuation of ATV in many respects, having originally applied for the franchise as ATV Midlands Limited - the IBA forced it to change its name (and move its headquarters to the Midlands from London where ATV had previously held a franchise) to reflect more fully its Midlands base. The new company was also forced to sell its Elstree studios (to the BBC), and open new studios in Nottingham. Lew Grade's Associated Communications Corporation was forced to divest 49% of its shareholdings in the company.

When Central launched, its region was subdivided into two; one for the West Midlands (with studios in Birmingham), and one for the East Midlands (with studios in Nottingham). to counter criticisms that former franchise-holder ATV was too West Midlands-centric. There are few differences between the subregions, but each has their own news programme (Central News for the West and Central News East for the East). This led to the BBC also producing two news programmes (Midlands Today for the West and East Midlands Today for the East). In 1989, Central added a South Midlands sub-region (Central News South) based in Abingdon (near Oxford). However, the BBC did not take similar action until 2000, when a sub-opt-out for the areas in and around Oxfordshire was launched.

In 1994, Central was bought by Carlton Television and on 6 September 1999 was forced to change its name to Carlton (Central Region). On 28 October 2002, it became ITV1 Carlton (Central England) on-air, though the registered company name remains Central Independent Television Limited. With the merger of Carlton and Granada on 2 February 2004, the brand has become ITV1 Central. Central Independent Television is currently owned by ITV plc, the company created from the merger of Granada Television and Carlton Television.

In February 2004, ITV plc announced plans to close and sell the Nottingham production centre. A newsroom will remain in the city, but in spring 2005 production of Central News East will move to Central's Birmingham studio.

In October 2004, ITV plc closed Central's presentation/transmission department, moving presentation to Leeds. Many viewers and workers from the British television industry have commented that this was a poor decision, claiming that Central previously had the most professional presentation within the ITV network, and pioneered many ideas years before they would be adopted on a wider scale.

Notable programmes made by Central include Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (series 1 and 2, 1983 & 1986), Blockbusters (1983-93), Sharpe (1993-96), Spitting Image (1984-96), Cadfael, Inspector Morse (1987-2001), Soldier Soldier (1991-97) and the children's series Press Gang (1989-93).

There is (or was) also an Australian commercial station called Central Independent Television, but the two companies are not affiliated.

The name Central Independent Television allegedly came about after an enterprising Midlander heard of the new ITV franchise round, and in an attempt to get royalties trademarked many names relating to television in the Midlands (including Central Television). The new company got around this quite simply: by calling themselves Central Independent Television.


British television | Channels | ITV

Scotland: Grampian, Scottish Television, Border | North and Northwest: ABC, Granada
Northeast: Tyne Tees | Yorkshire: Yorkshire | Northern Ireland: UTV | Wales: TWW, WWN, ITSWW, HTV
Midlands: ATV, Central | East: Anglia | London: Rediffusion, ATV, Thames, LWT, Carlton
South: Southern, TVS, Meridian | Southwest: Westward, TSW, Westcountry | Channel Islands: Channel TV


Breakfast: TV-am, GMTV | Teletext: ORACLE, Teletext Ltd | News: ITN


ITA | IBA | ITC | Ofcom
ITV plc | ITV1 | ITV2 | ITV3 | ITV4 | ITV News Channel | Men & Motors | ITV Digital

sv:Central Independent Television
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