STV and ITV end legal actions

STV Group plc today announced that it has agreed a wide ranging settlement with ITV plc and ITV Network over the various ongoing legal actions.

All current and proposed legal actions have ceased with immediate effect and the parties have agreed the basis of a much more collaborative relationship for the future which will avoid a reoccurrence of the issues which resulted in legal action.

Rob Woodward, STV Chief Executive, said “I am pleased that we have reached a wide ranging settlement with ITV and that our two organisations can work collaboratively in future for the benefit of the Channel 3 Network.  STV is committed to the Channel 3 Network and we will also continue to pursue our strategy of building on our leading position as Scotland’s digital media company”.

The terms of the settlement which totals £18.0m consists of £7.2m in cash payable this year and £10.8m either in programme rights as at 31 December 2011 or cash, as adjusted, depending on further discussions with ITV.  The cash payments will be made in agreed instalments and met from STV’s existing bank facilities and the programming rights payment is capped at a maximum of £15.0m.  In addition, STV will receive £2.4m of credit for programme opt outs in 2011 giving a net cash impact of the settlement of £4.8m. STV expects to book an exceptional charge as a result of this settlement of approx £9.0m in the H1 2011 results, in addition to the current provisions.

STV believes it to be in its shareholders’ best interests to end a long period of uncertainty over the relationship with ITV and ITV Network, to cease all ongoing and proposed litigation and to focus on STV’s core growth strategy as it continues to build on its position as Scotland’s leading commercial digital media company.

Adam Crozier, ITV Chief Executive, said: “We are very pleased that this long running legal dispute with STV has been settled by way of an £18m payment to ITV.  We look forward to working closely with STV in the future.”

The problems have been on going since Ofcom and the government bent over backwards to allow ITV to ditch its original regional format, allowing a national service across England (and Wales) run by Granada and Carlton (as ITV1). None ITV plc regions such as STV and UTV were left to somehow fit into this new ITV plc dominated system which created the stalemate between the old regions that remained and the ITV plc company.