Independent Television Authority

The Independent Television Authority is a public corporation responsible for the provision of television services. It owns and operates television stations but the programmes they transmit are provided by programme companies. Formally, these companies are contractors to the Authority: in practice, they are partners in the independent television enterprise. Under the Television Act, the Authority is responsible for shaping, guiding and extending independent television. Its policy is to go forward from the establishment of independent television in selected areas of dense population to the provision of a full national service.

Independent television is financed entirely from advertising income. It is drawing no income from the licence fees or from other public funds.

The Authority regulates the system under which the programme companies sell time for advertisements. It also has wide responsibilities under the Television Act for securing proper standards in the programmes: and it is particularly concerned with such matters as accuracy in news, impartiality in matters of controversy, balance in subject matter and the maintenance of good taste. In these, and in all other matters, it maintains close and continuous contact with the programme companies it has appointed.

Author: Independent Television Authority

The ITA was established in 1954 to select the Independent Television programme contractors and broadcast their output to the UK and the Channel Islands. In 1972 it was given responsibility for radio and renamed the Independent Broadcasting Authority. It closed in 1990 when the commercial television and radio system in the UK was effectively privatised.

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