ITV plots merger with C4, Five

Plan prompts shakeup in Brit broadcasting

Struggling commercial giant ITV has drawn up plans for a three-way merger with beleagured pubcaster Channel 4 and tyro terrestrial web Five that would prompt one of the biggest shakeups in British broadcasting history, according to reports in British website MediaGuardian.

Executives from ITV, which is expected to report a huge drop in profits when it unveils its annual results for 2008 next week, believe merging the three main advertiser-funded broadcasters may be the only way to guarantee its survival in the face of the economic downturn.

An ITV spokesman confirmed that the broadcaster is looking at “a number of radical ideas” as part of its response to communications minister Stephen Carter’s Digital Britain report.

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