ITV Granada (formerly Granada Television; informally Granada) is the Channel 3 regional service for North West England. It is the largest independent television-franchise producing company in the UK, accounting for 25% of the total broadcasting output of the ITV network. It had been held by Granada Television, which was founded by Sidney Bernstein and based at Granada Studios on Quay Street in Manchester since its inception. This was the only surviving company of the original four Independent Television Authority franchisees from 1954; Granada Media Group (parent company of Granada Television) merged with Carlton Communications to form ITV plc in 2004. It covers Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, northwestern Derbyshire, part of Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
Broadcasting by Granada Television began on 3 May 1956 under the North of England weekday franchise. It was marked by a distinctive northern identity, and used stylised letter “G” logo forming an arrow pointing north, often with the tagline “Granada: from the north”. Granada plc merged with Carlton Communications to form ITV plc in 2004 after a duopoly had developed over the previous decade. The Granada name, as with those of the other former Channel 3 regional licence holders, has completely disappeared except for the regional news bulletins and weeknightly regional news magazine; ITV Broadcasting Limited operates the service with national ITV branding and continuity. Granada Television Ltd still legally exists. Along with most other regional companies owned by ITV plc, it is listed on http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk as a “Dormant company”. Other companies listed are Granada Television International and Granada Television Overseas Ltd, but these are either dormant or non-trading.
The North West region is regarded as ITV’s most successful franchise. The Financial Times and The Independent once described Granada Television, the former franchise holder, as “the best commercial television company in the world”. Nine Granada programmes were listed in the BFI TV 100 in 2000. Some of its most notable programmes include Coronation Street, Seven Up!, The Royle Family, The Jewel in the Crown, Brideshead Revisited, World in Action, University Challenge and The Krypton Factor. [Wikipedia]
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