UTV branding: watch this space

It’s now four years since UTV got a revamp to bring it into line with ITV and almost seven months since local continuity was dropped. This was, of course, brought about as an emergency measure at the height of the pandemic.

Rumours that local continuity would return at the start of October have proved to be unfounded.

Meanwhile the ITV brand continues to become more familiar in Northern Ireland. Brand-building promos have highlighted ITV’s Britain Get Talking campaign, Black Lives Matter and the company’s More Than TV tagline.

The latest brand-building promo is for ITV News. A promo seen tonight on UTV is intriguing.

VIDEO: ITV News – Independent News Is What We Stand For promotion (UTV version). Reporter: Barbara McCann. TX DATE/TIME: 22nd October 2020, 8.15pm. SUPPLIED BY: The TV Room. COPYRIGHT: ITV plc. VREF: 6194-01.

It features part of a package by UTV reporter Barbara McCann – it isn’t clear if the story or the promo was also run on the network but Barbara is very definitely a member of UTV’s team and not ITN’s although all regional reporters may occasionally pop up on the national news.

So why is this intriguing?

UTV Live got a new look at the same time as the channel itself in 2016.  Like the channel look then, it was modelled on the network look but did not include explicit ITV News branding.

Could the time have come for a little tweak to UTV Live to bring it into line with the other ITV plc regions? Only the end of the title sequence and the astons would need modified though reporters might also be asked to give ITV News sign-offs.

The truth is the change would be so subtle, very few people would probably notice.

To add to the intrigue, an internet search reveals an ‘ITV News UTV’ graphic hiding in the wings on the ITV website.


Meanwhile we are now virtually at the point when a return to full UTV branding on trails and idents can be ruled out.

If any members of ITV’s promotions or transmission team in London are furloughed, they will need to be back at work soon. The scheme ends on 31st October and its replacement is designed to help those companies which are unable to trade or which have faced a collapse in business.

The quality of other work recently – including some very clever promos and idents – suggests ITV’s team are finding ways to work as normally as possible.

By coincidence, 31st October is also UTV’s 61st birthday. The date is also, presumably, when ITV’s Black History Month idents will end.

It would be a logical date for UTV branding to return if it was on the way back.

Wait and see…



PICTURED: ITV News UTV logo from itv.com. SUPPLIED BY: Online. COPYRIGHT: ITV plc.

Posted by Andrew Nairn

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