There are 15 regional Channel 3 licensees and one licensee providing the national breakfast-time service. The licences were awarded by competitive tender in October 1991 for a 10-year term commencing 1 January 1993.
In addition to the 'consumer protection' requirements, which must be met by all television programme services licensed by the
ITC, Channel 3 licensees have to meet significant 'positive' requirements covering, for example, high quality, diversity, news, regional production, and
provision for the deaf or hearing impaired and blind or partially sighted. (Some of these apply only to regional licensees.) The licensees must provide services in accordance with the
proposals made in their applications, unless agreed otherwise by the ITC.