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ITV heads to court over news shift

Commission demands that web move slot to increase viewership

LONDON — ITV will get its day in court in its dispute with the U.K.’s TV watchdog over what time it airs the nightly news.

Britain’s biggest commercial web requested a judicial review after it was ordered by the Independent Television Commission on July 20 to bring the news forward to an earlier start time. The U.K.’s high court has decided to hear the case at the end of September.

The ITC asked for, and then demanded, the time change because it was unhappy with a 14% decline in ITV’s late evening news viewership in the wake of “News At Ten” being replaced with an 11 p.m. bulletin over a year ago.

ITV is eager to keep primetime open for entertainment programming, and argues that there are now other sources for TV news in the U.K., such as BBC News 24.

An ITC spokesperson said the org welcomed letting the court decide. The ITC has yet to lose a judicial review.

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