Richard Bell's

Front Page

Other UK
Other Irish

E-mail Me

Radio Zone

[ITV Network] [Anglia] [Border] [Carlton] [Central] [GMTV] [Grampian] [Granada] [HTV] [ITN] [LWT] [Meridian] [Scottish] [TV -am] [TVS] [TSW] [Tyne Tees] [UTV] [Yorkshire] [Westcounty] [Telethon] [Other ITV]

[Back to the beginning]

UTV 1993

In my opinion, by the early ninties, Ulster Television looked stale and dated. Although they had had a revamp in 1988, it was not particularly modern, and since they did not adopt the generic ident, they kept this until 1993.

Ulster TV is in a special position. Many people in the Irish Republic can recieve ITV, either by leakage of signal over the border or by cable or deflector systems. Until the late eighties, many of these subscription services in the Republic carried HTV Wales, moreso the further you got from the border. What happened though, possibly under pressure from UTV, was the switch of region. This opened up an opportunity for UTV to get advertising revenue from southern sources. One thing which helped UTV even more was legislation brought in in the South which restricted TV advertising in the state. Obvioulsy these restrictions did not apply North of the border, so several companies used UTV as a way to advertise products and services whch were only available in the Republic.

The increased share of broadcasting in the Repuplic which UTV had gained meant it was no longer just thinking about its franchise area of Northern Ireland, but much beyond. They didn't want to be just Ulster Television, so changing the name to one which had been used colloqiually, both on and off-screen produced a brand which could be used anywhere. What people call things in Northern Ireland can be contentious at the best of times, so UTV seemed a nice neutral name to use.

And finally I get to the point! The revamp in 1993 was very clever. There were many symbols, each starting off the same, but once the UTV logo had been formed, smeone wold run through it or roll it up or whatever.

Download This Ident

Each symbol had a slightly different jingle. A selection of these are shown below. What I thought was odd, however, was that within several weeks of their introduction, most of them were withdrawn with the bog-standard one be used almost always, except for the startup at 9.25am where the UTV is YOUR TV symbol was used. The first symbol below was used in the first few days of the new look. The old music faded into the new.

The above clock is still occasionally used on-screen, making UTV unique among ITV companies.

[More from 1993]

29th June 2000