16th October 1992

Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster

The biggest ever shake-up in the British commercial television industry saw several ITV franchise holders lose their licenses in October 1992. Channel Television, which serves Guernsey, Jersey and the rest of the Channel Islands was fortunately not among them. However, cornerstones of the network, like Thames and TV-am looked set to disappear.

Many of the losing bidders – and not just those who had lost existing licences, but newcomers who hoped to gain a place in the network – threatened to seek legal advice over what action they could take. For many, their prime complaint was the fact that the amount each bidder was willing to pay for their licence was taken into consideration, not just the quality of the bid itself.

Half of the successful applicants were not the highest bidders for their particular licences, however.

Channel Television’s bid

Incumbent Channel Television wasn’t the only company hoping to win the rights to broadcast to the Channel Islands from 1993 onwards. The last applicant to arrive at the Independent Television Commission’s headquarters on application day, Wednesday 15 May, had been CI3.

CI3 had bid £102,000 for the franchise, valuing each of the area’s potential viewers at 75.5p a year, assuming they all tuned in at some point. This might sound like good value, but it was considerably more than Channel Television’s own bid of just £1000 (which valued each viewer at 0.7p each).

It was fortunate for Channel, then, that the law had been changed very shortly before applications opened. The network’s franchises had become available as a result of the broadcasting Act, which initially only allowed them to be awarded to the highest bidder, which would have guaranteed CI3’s success.

An amendment had been added at the last moment, which allowed the Independent Television Commission to also consider the quality of the proposed output from each applicant. It would appear that this was what swung it for Channel Television.


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Other events that occured in October

Guernsey Post Office was established 1st
Guernsey switched to Reichsmarks 2nd
Sark was the target of Operation Basalt 3rd
Sark voted for democracy 4th
Guernsey lifeboat saved a Swedish schooner 5th
Jeeves actor died in Guernsey 6th
Sarnia Theatre celebrated its most successful year 7th
The Story of Adele H opened in cinemas 8th
Howards’ Way came to Guernsey 9th
Guernsey Ladies’ College opened 10th
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey 11th
The Channel Islands’ king set sail for England 12th
Major General Sir Isaac Brock died 13th
Footballer Matt Le Tissier was born 14th
Island FM brings commercial radio to Guernsey 15th
Channel Television saw off a rival broadcaster 16th
The first mines were dug on Sark 17th
Sark’s Stocks Hotel was damaged by fire 18th
Elizabeth College’s foundation stone was laid 19th
Hitler ordered the Channel Islands’ fortification 20th
Guernsey’s stone crackers demanded a pay rise 21st
The desalination plant opened 22nd
Sir Charles Hayward buys Jethou for £91,000 23rd
Guernsey Monopoly board game went on sale 24th
Dame Sibyl Hathaway chose her Desert Island Discs 25th
GUNS founder Charles Machon died 26th
Bailiff Sir Peter de Havilland was born 27th
A man “disappeared” from a Guernsey ferry 28th
Express & Star bought Guernsey Press 29th
The first lighthouses were built on the Casquets 30th
States of Guernsey voted to lower the voting age 31st