Associated Television Network Limited


ATV Colour logo, 1969 - 1981

Associated Television Network Limited (ATV) was a British television company formed by Lew Grade's Associated Communications Corporation and ITC Entertainment. Grade originally called the company Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC), possibly in imitation of the US Network ABC, but Associated British Corporation successfully sued for prior ownership of the initials, and so he had to change it to ATV. The company's logo contains two eye symbols, which were almost certainly inspired by the CBS eye logo.

In 1955 the company was granted a franchise to operate as the ITV programme provider for the Midlands region on Monday to Friday, and the London region on Saturday and Sunday.

In 1968 ATV lost the London Weekend franchise to London Weekend Television but was granted a seven-day Midlands franchise.

In 1981 the Independent Broadcasting Authority decided that ATV's lack of regional programming and production (it had a major studio centre at Elstree in London, well outside its midlands franchise) was hampering the region, so it insisted that the new applicant for the franchise be more clearly based in the region and have separate facilities for East and West Midlands. ATV Midlands Limited, a sister company of ATV, applied successfully for the franchise. As a condition of its award, ACC was forced to divest itself of 49% of the company and rename the company. The new company name was registered as Central Independent Television plc and the new logo appeared on January 1, 1982. Later that year, ACC was forced to divest itself of the remainder of Central after being taken over by Australian Robert Holmes a Court.

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