Ofcom chief Carter rules out TV trading review before 2005

The Ofcom chief executive, Stephen Carter, has ruled out a major review of the TV trading market until at least 2005.

Speaking exclusively to Campaign, Carter said the review, recommended to Ofcom by the Competition Commission as part of its findings on the ITV merger, should be delayed until at least the end of another trading season.

Carter said: "My own view is I don't see any value in doing that until after the second deal season. I think in 2005, after we've had the 2004 and 2005 deal seasons, then it's a sensible time to look at the market review because you've got some evidence you can interpret and some market consequences that are readable."

Carter's comments coincide with the first quarterly report from the Ofcom adjudicator, David Connolly. Although crediting ITV for largely complying with the terms imposed upon it as a condition of its merger, Connolly has fired a warning shot across its bows.

He said he had received informal allegations that ITV had been conditionally selling its ITV portfolio of channels.

- Feature, p24.