I’ve come to wish you an Unhappy Birthday 

22 September 2003 tbs.pm/831

48 years of Independent Television, and ITV is celebrating by… doing nothing. No press release, no party, no special idents, no story on the awful ITV.com. Nothing at all.

But then, any of this would suggest something to celebrate. And ITV has precious little of that.

A widely-derided ident package (inside the industry as well as out) leads into a stagnant schedule filled with a mixture of cheap rubbish and indefensible stuff that was once good but is now passed its sell-by date.

ITV.com, that “BBCi-killer”, is slow, boring and visited only by the few people who care that they missed one of last week’s 23 editions of Corrie.

Failing revenues, a desertion by the A and B social categories that the advertisers crave, talk of ditching the public service requirements and getting out of analogue. None of these are Good Things.

Yet, this is a period where ITV should be on top. The BBC is on the ropes, hounded from all sides having met its nemesis in – of all things – a Labour government that fancies bringing it to heal (forgetting that, one day, we may have a Tory government again and the last thing Labour will want is them having a pet broadcaster).

Sky is suffering from Tony Ball’s exit, Murdoch – perhaps – following and Murdoch Jr jumping into his seat.

Five is… well, all teeth and no knickers – as it always was. Only now it has the best presentation in the UK… and no knickers.

So ITV should be up there, standing on a pile of broken or writhing enemies. But they’re not. And no-one there has a clue what to do about it.

Odd that, because here’s a 48th birthday present that solves their problem. Two useful words: Be Better.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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