London/Manchester

Revenue: $2.13 billion

Loss: $278 million

Like its fellow ITV company Carlton, Granada is on the ropes after a grueling year in which its once-glittering name has been tarnished by the failure of the ITV Digital platform and faltering ratings for flagship web ITV1.

Granada and Carlton are the two main broadcasters in the ITV network and will be permitted to merge under legislation currently going through Parliament. After abortive merger talks early this year, it would be a major surprise if they do not try again in the next 12 months, with Granada probably taking the upper hand in the deal.

There is also, however, the possibility of takeover bids from outside players, including U.S. media groups that may be permitted to own U.K. broadcasters under new ownership rules.

Granada remains by far the biggest supplier of network programming to ITV — production accounts for roughly 40% of Granada’s total revenues. But its attempts to parlay its creative strength into foreign markets, notably Australia and America, have proved unconvincing.

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