ITV’s main channel is to be return to its former name of ITV 1 after nearly 10 years. ITV staff have been briefed on the plan which is part of a wider branding shake-up.
The move coincides with the launch of the new streaming service ITVX.
It seems like a case of going back to the future.
I was surprised when the name ITV 1 was dropped in 2013 just as it seemed to be getting accepted by the public.
The argument was that it aligned the name of the company with the name of its principal service. It was also argued that viewers still called the channel ITV.
Now the aim is to distinguish between the channel and the company again. Hopefully the return of the ITV 1 name will succeed this time.
Nothing would be worse in the modern environment than the old ITV identity crisis with viewers using a myriad of modern and historic regional names.
Some Pres fans need to remember that the old regional names and idents reflected a federal system which has long gone. Some regional names such as Granada were legendary but viewers in the south west saw 4 names in 18 years.
It would be wrong to judge the new look branding until it appears on screen.
But there’s an interesting question for Pres fans and viewers in Northern Ireland: will the last remnants of UTV channel branding survive?
Trails for local programmes still have a UTV endboard. The 2019 endboards survived a minor refresh in the summer of 2020.
This time, they will need a full refresh if they are to survive.
Does the last remaining use of the UTV name make quite so much sense under the ITV 1 brand?
Might it be quietly dropped?
EPG names in other ITV plc regions will need updated too from ITV to ITV 1 – will UTV still be afforded special treatment?
There is no suggestion just now that the UTV Live name will be dropped from the news service – few people other than Pres fans would spot a change to local trails amid a bigger revamp.
All will be revealed within weeks.
PICTURED: ITV break bumper. COPYRIGHT: ITV plc.