News Column

Decade-long renewal for STV licences

February 12, 2014

greig cameron; greig cameron

STV has seen its shares rise 4% after it agreed a renewal of its broadcasting licences for Channel 3 for a further 10 years.

Ofcom confirmed the award of the central Scotland and Grampian regions licences, which were to expire at the end of this year, until December 31 2024.

In a stock market filing STV said it accepted the new terms, which include programming commitments, put forward by the regulator.

The Glasgow-based media company will pay an annual fee of pound(s)10,000 for each region it covers.

That is the nominal sum Ofcom set for all the Channel 3 and Channel 5 licences that were up for renewal.

Those included the likes of UTV in Northern Ireland and ITV's regional services such as Borders.

STV, which is headed by chief executive Rob Woodward, also said the pound(s)70 million banking facility it agreed in early 2012 would now automatically be extended.

A consortium of banks - Bank of Scotland, Santander UK and Barclays - had provided a pound(s)37.5m loan and pound(s)32.5m credit and revolving overdraft.

The facility was scheduled to run until the end of this year but the award of the licences triggers an extension to March 2016.

STV indicated the licence awards gave it greater certainty and the confidence to continue to invest in public service content for the future.

It also said it remains on course to launch a Glasgow-specific television station, on which it is partnering with Glasgow Caledonian University, in June of this year - ahead of the Commonwealth Games starting in the city.

Separately, Deutsche Bank announced it had reduced its stake in STV to less than 3%.

It previously had a holding of 3.23% but there was no detail released to the stock market on how many shares it had offloaded.

Shares in STV closed the day up 14p at 340p.


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Source: Herald, The (Scotland)


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