ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, the number 3 having no real meaning other than to distinguish it from BBC One, BBC Two and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned as televisions would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, the other stations being allocated to that of the number their name contained.
ITV is to be distinguished from ITV plc, the company that resulted from the merger of Granada plc and Carlton Communications in 2004 and which is the parent of ITV Broadcasting Limited to whom all of the Channel 3 broadcasting licences in England, Wales, Southern Scotland and the Isle of Man were transferred in November 2008. Similarly ITV is the brand used by ITV plc for the Channel 3 service in these areas. Of the companies external to ITV plc, Channel Television uses ITV’s branding in the Channel Islands whilst STV and UTV use their own brands in their own respective areas (Northern and Central Scotland and Northern Ireland).
ITV (previously ITV1 between 2001 and 2013) is the flagship television channel of ITV plc in the United Kingdom.
ITV2 is a 24 hour, free-to-air entertainment television channel in the United Kingdom owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc.
ITV3 is an entertainment television channel in the United Kingdom that is owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc.
ITV4 is a British television station which was launched on 1 November 2005.
STV is the brand used by both ITV licensees in Northern and Central Scotland, formerly known as Grampian Television (now legally STV North) and Scottish Television (now legally STV Central) respectively.
UTV (formerly Ulster Television) is a commercial television broadcaster in Northern Ireland owned and operated by ITV plc.
ITVBe is a British entertainment, lifestyle and reality television channel owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc.
ITV Encore is a British drama television channel in the United Kingdom that is owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc.
CITV (short for Children's ITV or Children's Independent Television) is a British television channel from ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc.
ITV Breakfast Limited (previously known as GMTV Limited) is the national ITV breakfast television contractor, broadcasting in the United Kingdom. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of ITV plc in November 2009.
ITV is a network of television channels that operate regional television services as well as sharing programmes between each other to be displayed on the entire network.
ITV Weather is the national forecast shown on UK terrestrial network ITV, and is provided by the Met Office.
ITV Plc made some forays into new channels and businesses in the late 1990s.
ITV Play was a 24/7 participation television channel in the United Kingdom owned by ITV plc. The ITV Play name continued on the ITV Network until December 2007.