STV sues ITV in £12m VOD claim

By Julian Clover
November 17, 2009 11.47 UK

An ongoing dispute between ITV plc and the Scottish commercial network STV has spilled over into VOD rights.

For the past few months key ITV shows such as Midsomer Murders and Stephen Fryís Kingdom have been absent from STV schedules in a dispute over payments to the ITV network. The Scottish franchise holder has now launched proceedings against ITV Network Limited and ITV Broadcasting Limited over the exploitation of new media rights, claiming that ITV has entered into commercial agreements without its consent. STV produces a number of shows for the ITV network including the long-running crime drama Taggart.

ITV operates its own on demand player on, but the staunchly independent STV has its own branded catch-up TV service.

The Scottish broadcaster is seeking damages that it believes could reach some £12 million. A separate suit for £35 million concerning advertising sales is ongoing and STV has not ruled out making further claims in the future.

In September, the regulator Ofcom called for greater transparency by the ITV Network in the acquisition and sale of new media rights.