ITV launched a £38m legal claim against network partner STV today in a row over the Scottish broadcaster’s move to drop shows such as 'The Bill'.
STV has opted out of several peak-time shows to cater for regional audiences, but ITV claims it has done so retrospectively in breach of network agreements.
The firm – which has been attempting to settle the row for more than a year - said STV was also wrongly attempting to claim a rebate against “written-off” shows which were never transmitted.
ITV said: “Given that we are a commercial organisation, with responsibilities to our shareholders, we are left with no option but to take legal action to recover this sizeable debt.”
Other hit programmes at the centre of the row include detective series 'Midsomer Murders' and 'Lewis', as well as drama 'Wuthering Heights'.
STV was unavailable for comment.