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ITV shown up as the home of the repeat

LONDON - Competition from the BBC and the cost of the broadcasting the World Cup meant that more than one in five programmes on ITV last year was a repeat.

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ITV, which is fighting against falling levels of advertising share, pointed to the BBC's decision to broadcast its soap 'EastEnders' four times a week as a particular problem.

The figures were revealed by ITV in its Statement of Programme Policy for 2003-4. The document showed that the amount of repeats shown on the channel rose to 21.7% from 17.3% last time.

ITV also said that 'News At Ten', which the broadcaster has previously tried to dump, was also a problem. It said that audiences for its flagship news programme, which is regularly beaten by the BBC were "sometimes disappointing".

Another area of concern for ITV has been daytime television, which is an area it has addressed by revamping 'This Morning' and launching 'Today With Des and Mel' featuring Des O'Connor and Melanie Sykes.

As announced last year, ITV has increased its budget for ITV1 to £836m, up from £775m.

Unveiling its programming for 2003 and 2004, ITV has committed itself to increased levels of quality drama and the development of top-rating concepts such as 'Pop Idol' and 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'.

It also promised new drama, which will include part two of 'The Forsyte Saga', 'Henry VIII and his Wives' and 'The Second Coming'.

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