ITV and the BBC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that could help to deliver cost savings for regional news on ITV1 and have discussed a possible partnership aimed at securing a long term future for ITV1 regional news.
The BBC and ITV have discussed how they could jointly create partnerships that would reduce costs of regional news provision. This could include co-locating the ITV and BBC regional news centres and bureaux, sharing technical facilities and resources and pooling some of the video pictures gathered by BBC crews for use in ITV’s regional services.
The two sides have outlined a mechanism in which the BBC would provide access to its regional news infrastructure and resources. With the ‘synergies’ that might be created, ITV estimate that there is the potential for a saving to them of £1.5m in 2011 rising incrementally to around £7m pa by 2016.
According to ITV, the current cost of ITV’s regional news services in England, the Borders and Wales is around £55m per annum.
BBC Deputy Director-General, Mark Byford, said: “The BBC and ITV will now continue our discussions around what would be an innovative and ground breaking proposal.”
ITV’s Chief Operating Officer, John Cresswell, said: “Plurality in regional news is an important part of PSB and we welcome this step in helping to support it.”
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