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Apr 27 2011

A long-running legal dispute between the broadcasters STV and ITV has been settled amicably after the Scottish company agreed to pay ITV £18m. This could mean that STV HD will finally come to Freesat, though we suspect we might be a while off that just yet.

More on this story on the BBC news site.

53 Responses to “STV Ends Legal Stand-off With ITV”

  1. mediaman Says:

    They took long enough to announce this officially but this is good news, perhaps now we will see STV HD on Freesat and STV+1 of course.


  2. mediaman Says:

    STV still plans to use it’s right to opt out and still intend to provide it’s own schedule but we should see some more ITV drama. They still intend to opt out of some sport and other programming and ITV will not always get priority for providing programmes and will have to compete to others. Despite all this we should see a better relationship between both companies and the viewers for both ITV and STV will benefit.


  3. Neil Says:

    Glad the two parties have finally sorted this, hopefully Satellite viewers will now benefit from this, especially for those in Scotland eager to see STV HD and STV+1 joining Freesat.


  4. mediaman Says:

    Again this is great news for the viewer. STV just paid out what it offered ITV 2 years ago when this all started. ITV didn’t realy have much of a case . The important thing is both ITV and STV get what they want. ITV gets more finance for their programmes and STV agree’s to buy a set amount of programming. STV in return gets to buy from various other people as well as ITV and still control their own schedule and best of all the viewers get more ITV drama. The only sacrifice is sport mostly football but eventually I think that will return to.

    STV has a new drama being filmed on location in London to celebrate their new relationship with ITV. Fast Freddie, the Widow & Me, a 90-minute movie/drama written by Christopher Dunlop.

    No real excuse for STV HD or STV+1 not being on the Freesat EPG anymore.

    Do you get the feeling we are the only 2 people interested in this thread.


  5. stoner Says:

    yes, about time stv paid up, now please give us stv hd on freesat (personally, itvhd will do me though for football)


  6. liz Says:

    Make me 3 lol ..


  7. ian Says:

    Allot of this is old actually!

    STV will have to negotiate a carriage dead with the Dsat providers for the 2 channels. That was never part of ht e issue although some still think so. It is in fact STV being tight fisted and thinking they have the god given right to get what they want and for a pittance. And @mediaman, ITV had more than a leg to stand on!


  8. ian Says:



  9. Paul Says:

    4. @mediaman

    “Do you get the feeling we are the only 2 people interested in this thread.”


    No offence


  10. Mediaman Says:

    None taken.


  11. Mediaman Says:

    I know as fact ITV had no case and that their own team of experts told them to make a deal. All STV paid out was what they already offered 2 years ago and got everything they wanted from the deal. What does it matter as long as their working together again.


  12. Paul Says:

    10. @Mediaman

    A true gentleman and so refreshing.

    I agree that disputes between these so called movers and shakers can have devastating impact on the people that pay the bills…………….us!!!

    I trust that you guys get the deal that gives you what you want and what we get.

    Oh dear – it seems I have joined the debate.



  13. ian Says:

    @mediaman, you show your proof they had no case and the ‘experts’ saying they have no case. They were owed money by STV for network programming and a few other things and STV refused to pay that. If STV had a case and ITV been fighting off a bear with a spud gun, why is it that STV is paying the money and accepting they were in the wrong? They settled because they was fully aware that ITV’s case was strong, had mounting evidence and would of got mullered in the courts!
    If you owe someone a tenner and they say ‘giz a fiver and call it squits’.. most people will do that because it saves them money!


  14. Mediaman Says:

    STV never denied they owed money just the amount ITV stated. STV already offered this sum of money 2 years ago but ITV would not accept it then even when advised they should as they were looking for a lot higher figure. The new management at ITV looked over their finances obviously saw something wrong and came to this deal which was acceptable to both parties. I mentioned 2 weeks ago on many sites that ITV and STV would have news very soon long before press sources knew anything about it. I believe I may have hinted on here last week on another thread. ITV also payed out so much money out to Simon Cowall and continue producing programming. If ITV really had any case what so ever they would have gone to court even if they had to borrow money to do it after all they were wanting 3 times as much as what STV paid them out of court. You only settle out of court for a lot less money if you can’t win or you have no case or the people your after have evidence to back up all their claims which STV had.

    The details are pointless now both companies are getting what they want and the viewers will benefit.


  15. Neil Says:

    ITV Networks Ltd is the holding subsidiary which handles network distribution for the ‘Channel 3’ network, I’m presuming, as STV HD and STV+1 is already available on DSAT (but not on the EPG) this dispute has affected it’s EPG placements on Sky and Freesat. ITV will own the LCN (channel No’s) relating to it’s services on both platforms, permission for STV to re-use these on a regional opt-basis in Scotland will be down directly to ITV and not ITV Networks therefore this will explain why these services are already being transmit but just not on the EPG!

    Ian (7): In terms of capacity it’s just a case of negotiation between ITV, STV, SKy and Freesat to have these existing services added to the relevant EPG’s – hopefully sooner than later which will benefit Scottish viewers north of the border.


  16. Anonymous Says:

    @9 Paul

    I was going to say that but I didn’t want to offend him


  17. Tony Says:

    A touch off topic but just read ITV have lost the rights to Wednesday Champions League games to ….. you guest it S****Y.. They have won an exclusive 3 year deal. Another shot in the foot for all football fans..


  18. Tony Says:


  19. Richard Crichton Says:

    Shot in the arm means a boost.Please explain how football going from FTA to PTTN is a shot in the arm for footall fans.
    Sly are just vultures preying on football fans.

    PS PTTN pay through the nose.


  20. Tony Says:

    They just about have all football rights now apart from Fa cup !. Its a good job there are other options to watch the premiership & champions league.. I think people may have to go motorised to carry on watching their favourite teams.. Thank goodness for other viewing cards!


  21. kdhuk Says:

    @tony 18.
    No change – just a move to Tuesdays…otherwise same deal


  22. ian Says:

    Sky don’t and never will have an exclusive over the UCL because UEFA like to have a FTA broadcaster in on the deal aswell. ITV had opted for the Tuesday night now because that is when the mid-week England games are played when ITV screens the one’s they have the rights to and so decided to follow suit and revert back to a Tuesday for the UCL! Only issue now is, ITV has no current Wednesday night highlights rights in the new deal so its the same as before where ITV have a live game Tuesday night and a highlights show, and then sod all on a Wednesday night and not even highlights.. The reason is because they can’t broadcast goals or highlights untill midnight because of the brainless and selfish demands Sky make, so they don’t bother to opt that into a deal!
    Sky are swines for this when it comes to FTA highlights for things, they did it with the Ashes and time restricting the highlights, the same with the cricket world cup and many other things too.

    I do feel for the Scottish viewers who have no STV+1 and STVHD on EPG’s because it is pathetic the way this has rolled out and been played for the last few years. Hopefully STVHD can go live on Freesat and that other pokey Dsat provider and Freeview too!


  23. Neil Says:

    Ian, STV HD and STV+1 are already available on Freeview HD in Scotland.

    As both services are already transmitting FTA on Astra 2D they only need adding to Freesat and $ky EPG’s once ITV and STV agree on EPG slots regionalisation etc. Lets see how quickly something materialises in respect to all of this, if ITV have the legals all ready to sign (but held off by this dispute), it may appear before the major DSO in Scotland late May/June.


  24. ian Says:

    Oh yes, i forgot they was on already in Scotland! I was thinking it was platform wide they were missing!
    Its a simple one really isn’t it as they are on Dsat already just without an EPG and they won’t have to go through a test period as they have been online for months!


  25. Neil Says:

    I guess the cable headends up there are probably taking the DSAT feeds (both STV HD and +1) which is probably the reason they appeared without EPG placement, it does surprise me too though that UTV+1 didn’t appear at the same time as ITV1+1 in England and Wales?


  26. ian Says:

    Its possible that UTV=1 was kept back so not to inflame the ITV/STV fight from an STV standpoint?

    BTW, anyone notice how much of a hike the BBC One HD bitrate was given for old Willy and Kate’s little shin-dig earlier? Hmm… And the BBC say that nothing has changed… Yeah, and i’m the Pope!!!!!!!!!!!!


  27. ian Says:



  28. Neil Says:

    Yep, I was wondering that too, possibly there’s an EPG regionalisation/cost split between all parties which would be better holding UTV off until STV’s issues are resolved.

    I’ve heard a whisper that UTV HD *may* be coming to Satellite in the next couple of Months too. Whether this is going on to 10936V in place of ITV1HD Central is unknown but a strong possibility if they want to go on to Freesat.

    I too noticed the BBC upped their bitrates, Linowsat are showing a rolling average on BBC HD and BBC1HD today, BBC1HD looked better whilst BBC HD had a static caption to save on bandwidth. Maybe once the Harvard DVB-S2 issue is sorted the beeb should switch the Txp to S2.


  29. ian Says:

    If the BBC changed it to S-2, i am right in thinking they would need a test period to satisfy Freesat & $ky? Meaning they would have to either temporarily move BBC HD and BBC One HD somewhere else? Or take them off for a month or so?!

    That would make sense to put UTV HD on there but this is ITV we are talking about and brainy decisions are not their forté.. :-)

    It says allot when they ramp the rate up for a royal wedding and then its poor the rest of the time!
    The BBC HD channel back-ground image wasn’t static, it was a video but not much movement, i put that on for a minute when i flicking and i noticed the grass move a few times.


  30. David Says:

    so dose this mean that sky will get stv hd then ?


  31. mediaman Says:

    STV should be on Freesat (with any luck) within the next month cost was never an issue in this matter as UTV is also affected by similar problems but things at the moment don’t look to good for SKY.

    There’s also a lot of talk that You View has been dropped by Freesat and new Set Top Boxes will run on HbbTV instead. Where as Freeview will stick with You View. Not my source so I can’t confirm and was wondering if anyone else had any info on this. Hbb is obviously the better option with a proven track record in Europe and has many big companies on their books but it does seem a waste that thousands was invested into You View if it’s now only on Freeview.


  32. Tony Says:

    @ 22 Ian
    Thanks for that info , A little happier now…


  33. Tony Says:

    @ 21 kdhuk..
    Thanks for that info as well ..


  34. Neil Says:

    Ian: C4HD has sort of been the guinea pig for S2 on Freesat, it seems only the Harvard boxes are where any flaw has been found. This is most likely the reason why the service appeared quietly without a big marketing push.

    The beeb could do an overnight test beforehand with STB manufacturers/software revisions being fully tested but my guess would be that now C4HD has been tested and issues resolved then this would be a straightforward migration. It also answers why when Sky leased 10936V to ITV they didn’t run from the outset with S2 (they did some overnight testing though), obviously flaws were found at this early stage, about this time last year.

    Mediaman: YouView is becoming a bit of an embarrassment for the BBC in terms of it’s delay and cost. Freesat’s been streets ahead with iPlayer (and soon ITV Player we hope!), I guess if Alan Sugar never got involved they may have considered watering it down but his reputation is on the line now so we’ll see what happens! It would be good to get 4OD on board Freesat too, Demand 5 would be asking way too much of Channel 5!!!

    When you say “things don’t look good for Sky”, is this in relation to EPG placement or them simply wanting a cosy encryption deal?? I appreciate if this is commercially confidential so you may be sworn to secrecy!


  35. Richard Crichton Says:

    @22 Ian
    Personally I’m not too bothered about not having STV HD on the EPG as there is a good
    borders and south of Scotland news service provided by Border ITV and STV HD is available in non epg mode anyway. I might get a £15 earning remote with macros to make it a one button push into non epg mode though. I don’t see why it has to be such a pain to change to non freesat mode. Five or six button pushes on my Technisat.
    Another gripe on the BBC red button there is no way to get back to the main menu without exiting red button and then going back into it.


  36. Richard Crichton Says:

    As regards YouView I think it’s a non starter now that internet tv can do much of the same thing and more like streaming films from LoveFilm. YouView is just a non starter and the quicker they realise that the better for everyone.
    A bit like RadioPlayer for internet radio who needs it.


  37. ian Says:

    @Richard Crichton, you might not be bothered by STV HD but there is plenty ov viewers in Scotland that would like it on the Freesat and Sky EPG…


  38. Richard Crichton Says:

    I appreciate many people in Scotland want it and I’m not saying it shouldn’t be on the EPG it’s just that I question STV’s commitment to Freesat. They have treated their viewers in Scotland with contempt since Freesats beginning to such an extent that many have found alternative ways to get ITV1 HD so its no big deal to me if they go on the EPG now.
    I am looking forward to the second series of Downton Abbey on ITV1 HD but don’t know if STV HD will carry it as they didn’t carry the first series.


  39. Neil Says:

    Richard: This EPG issue has obviously somehow got wrapped up in all the legal wranglings between the two parties. Whether this is simply down to STV ‘not doing new business’ with ITV during the standoff or vice versa we don’t know but Mediaman seems in the know and I guess if he’s correct it will appear soon. I wouldn’t necessarily say ITV has treated Freesat with contempt, Sky are exactly in the same boat so it’s both DSAT platforms which lacks STV HD and +1 in Scotland. Us Freesat users have the beauty of entering postcodes, Sky users don’t as cards are regionalised at distribution!


  40. mediaman Says:

    38# I agree with most of what your saying but viewers in Scotland can’t get ITV HD on the EPG and many boxes can’t tune in STV HD or ITV HD in non freesat mode due to the FEC rating refusing to change. UTV has encountered the same problems with their HD channel and they can’t launch either yet. To be fair as far as commitment to Freesat is concerned ITV has not exactly shown any loyalty there either (allowing their HD channels to encrypt on SKY and constant talks about encrypting ITV1 and leaving the channel 3 license) and they are partners in Freesat where as STV and UTV are not. If ITV have no faith in Freesat and are ready to jump ship to SKY despite their vested interest you can’t expect STV or UTV to show loyalty to any platform they are not invested or have a personal stake in. STV and UTV are a business and like any business will do what’s best for them first. I have no doubt thir channels will both appear on Freesat very soon and possibly SKY. As far as STV is concerned they treat both SKY and Freesat’s platform equally that is more than ITV has ever done.


  41. mediaman Says:

    Sorry slight edit to last post:

    Most viewers in Scotland can’t get ITV HD on the EPG unless they tune in to Border but even then many boxes get a blank screen in Scotland on ITV HD.


  42. Richard Crichton Says:

    @41Interesting didn’t realise that. Only thing I can add is don’t buy Harvard group boxes and the Technisat has no problem tuning ITV HD in Scotland with a borders postcode and non EPG STV HD for that matter. Also CH4 HD is no problem either.


  43. mediaman Says:

    Channel 4 HD and NHK HD both worked great in Non Freesat mode. STV HD and ITV HD seem’s the main problem for some boxes. Usually there fine when they launch on the EPG and I believe a simple update could easily fix the problem but no chance of that. Perhaps it’s time to invest in a new box I have had this one since the early days but with technology moving so fast and with the debates over Hbb or You view I don’t want to purchase anything that’;s going to be obselete in a year or unable to handle future updates.

    I think it’s great for Freesat that things are moving this fast and many companies and manufacturers are involved and taking Freesat seriously at last but for the average person it’s a mind field looking for the right type of box that is future proof. (well at least for a few years)


  44. Neil Says:

    mediaman: One of the issues with STV is Sky, who are uplinking it, have left the Encryption flag set which I believe some STB’s then see as having Encrypted video and ignore, same goes for when there’s Freesat EPG data included for a channel in ‘non Freesat’ mode.

    It was suspected UTV HD to launch replacing the currently Encrypted ITV1HD Central service on 10936V, Central then moving elsewhere but we’ll have to wait and see what transpires with UTV’s HD offering. I suspect Central may move to 11973V.


  45. ian Says:

    Id rather ITV un-encrypt Central as that is where i am :-)

    Could UTVHD go on the BBC transponder maybe? replacing the currently encrypted ITV1 HD service on there?


  46. Neil Says:

    I’d say it’s more likely to go on to the Sky leased one along with Granada and STV. I guess ITV have some sort of lease with the BBC although it’s odd the Meridian service only has half the bitrate of the BBC services sharing that transponder, guess the PQ isn’t that great?


  47. Salty dawg Says:

    Anyone know when NHK HD starts on Freesat?


  48. Neil Says:

    Sometime in May, suspect it will join at the same time it appears on $ky?


  49. ian Says:

    Possibly next week NHK World HD on Freesat but nothing solid as yet!
    They wish to launch on Both Freesat and $ky but $ky are the hold up!


  50. Neil Says:

    “$ky hold up” – now there’s a surprise!!


  51. Paul Says:

    does this mean us in scotland can now use the itv player?


  52. ian Says:

    Who would of thought!!!


  53. Mediaman Says:

    ITV player will be replaced with STV player but they will carry some ITV programming as agreed in recent discussions. STV in general is not going to change.
    Still pick and choose their own programming and schedule but buy programming up front rather than investing in most ITV shows. However more ITV dramas will be seen on STV but sport may be sacrificed for STV to buy in from other companies or show local content. Some ITV shows may not get a repeat on ITV 3 quite as fast as in recent years.
    We should see STV HD and STV+1 on Freesat very soon and the next couple of years could see STV 2 replace ITV 2 in Scotland. Sort of S2 reborn.

    “Thanks to the new management at ITV a better working relationship for both ITV and STV is ensured for the future with ITV and STV working side by side equally along side UTV and Channel to turn channel 3 into the nations number 1 choice for quality news and entertainment”.


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