ITV sues Scottish network partner

Seeking $62 mil for non-payment of program fees

LONDON -- ITV Tuesday said it had launched a £38 million ($62 million) legal action against Scottish ITV broadcaster STV for what is says is non-payment of program fees.

STV, which operates the Scottish ITV franchise, has opted out of showing ITV's own programming in primetime, offering viewers repeats and local content instead as part of cost-cutting measures. The Scottish broadcaster is free to choose which parts of the ITV schedule it opts to buy for its own network, but ITV said that it was refusing to honor current contracts, adding that by retrospectively opting out of program payments, STV is in breach of its contract.

"ITV plc regrets to announce that it is today issuing legal proceedings against STV to recover a gross debt of £38 million," the broadcaster said in a statement to the Stock Exchange.

"This debt has accumulated as a result of STV not honoring its contractual contributions towards the network program budget."

ITV said it had been attempting to resolve the situation for over a year, but had still not been paid.

STV could not be reached for comment.
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