STV and ITV have reached a deal over which should mean some missing favourites returning to Scottish screens. For three years, the Scottish station has dropped some major ITV1 programmes including several dramas.
If regulator Ofcom backs the plan, STV will pay a fixed amount for the whole network schedule regardless of how many programmes it actually chooses to show.
Until now, there were complicated financial arrangements between STV and ITV – the legacy of the days when the whole Channel 3 network was made up of independent, regionally-based companies. STV will still be able to drop a network programme if it believes the programme will not play well with Scottish viewers. The station will still also be able to schedule its local programmes whenever it wants to.
But the deal means STV will no longer save money by dropping a major network drama or other individual programmes.
STV has upped the amount of Scottish programmes it produces in recent years. But some network programmes have been replaced by repeats and imports.