a media industry resource

Carlton: landmarks


This chronology is indicative only. It covers -

  • antecedents (1917)
  • beginnings (1983)
  • broadcasting (1993)
  • Ondigital (1998)
  • merger with Granada (2003)

Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline on this site.


1917 Technicolor Corporation founded in US

1938 Rank Screen Advertising founded as subsidiary of Odeon Theatres

1951 Andre Deutsch and Diana Athill establish André Deutsch publishers

1954 ITC television production company founded by Lew Grade

1969 Solid State Logic music console business founded, later acquired by United Engineering Industries (UEI)

1970 Qantel image editing software business founded, later acquired by UEI

1973 Michael buys Carlton Photography & Design for £0.4m, establishes Tangent Industries video business


1983 Tangent Industries renamed Carlton Communications, absorbs Carlton Fox and Carlton Studios and lists on London Stock Exchange

1983 Ronald Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes buys Technicolor for US$125m

1985 Independent Broadcasting Authority vetoes purchase of Thames Television from Thorn-EMI and Rediffusion for £82m

1987 buys 20% of Central Television for £29.5m following Bell's takeover of ACC

1988 buys Technicolor from Perelman

1988 buys Action Time film/video production company

1989 buys UEI (inc Quantel and Solid State Logic) for £507m

1989 sells Link Scientific Group for £47.5m

1990 sells Cosworth and other parts of UEI to Vickers for £163.5m

1990 awarded UK Channel 3 tv licence

1992 buys Pickwick music group for £69m

1992 Carlton Books founded


1993 Carlton Television starts broadcasting

1993 buys Central Television for £723m

1993 buys 18% of ITN (other consortium members include LWT and Reuters)

1993 Carlton and partner Paramount sell Zenith Entertainment

1994 buys remaining 80% of Central Television, resells most of Central's 18% stake in ITN

1994 sells 85% of Action Time

1995 sells Abekas Video Systems for US$52m

1996 buys SelecTV cable channel (subsequently renamed Carlton Select) for £5.6m

1996 buys Cinema Media (former Rank Screen Advertising) for £58.8m, subsequently renamed Carlton Screen Advertising

1996 launches Carlton Food Network

1996 buys Westcountry Television for £85m

1996 buys rest of Action Time for £7.75m

1996 buys Cinema Media (formerly Rank Screen Advertising) for £58.5m

1996 buys 10% stake in Getty Communications image library for £17m

1997 UK Digital Terrestrial Television licences awarded to British Digital Broadcasting (renamed ONdigital) - 50% held by Carlton, 50% by Carlton.

1997 buys Rank Film Distributors and film library for £65m

1997 buys Rohauer Film Collection for £1m

1997 buys Metrocolor London from Time Warner for £3.8m

1997 merges international film sales operation with Village Intermedia Pictures

1997 buys Spanish videocassette producer Televicine

1998 buys remaining 50% of Technicolor Euphon in Italy

1998 opens videocassette plant in Denmark

1998 buys 50% of Grupo Video Visa in Mexico

1998 buys Nimbus CD group for £160m

1998 launches of Carlton Online (now Carlton Interactive)


1998 Ondigital launched

1999 buys ITC film and television library for £93m

1999 buys 49% stake in Real Image Digital film processing for £14m

1999 buys Planet 24 production company from Bob Geldof and Waheed Ali for paid £15m

1999 sells Pickwick and other budget music operations

1999 takes 7.5% stake in Quiero Digital television in Spain

1999 buys VTR Video in Canada

1999 buys remaining 50% of Mexico videocassette plant

1999 increases stake in Hamdon to 100%, renamed Carlton America.

1999 takes 20% stake in PeopleBank online job agency

1999 takes 25% stake in Ask Jeeves UK

1999 planned merger with United News & Media collapses

1999 forms joint venture with TF1 form @lliance, a joint venture to operate online and internet businesses in Europe

1999 sells 70% of Solid State Logic for £45.3m

1999 increases stake in GMTV to 25%

2000 sells Quantel for £108m

2000 forms partnerships with WHSmith, Sainsbury's (Taste Network) and First Call

2000 forms joint venture with WWW.COM

2000 buys HTV from Granada for £360m

2000 sells Technicolour to Thomson for £1.43bn

2000 buys Andre Deutsch

2000 buys Consolidated Film Industries, US processor of large film formats, for £31m

2001 abandons Taste Network

Merger with Granada

2001 ON Digital renamed ITV Digital

2002 ITV Digital goes into receivership

2002 Carlton buys cinema advertising interests of UGC (France) and RTBF (Belgian broadcaster) for £62m

2003 UK government approves merger of Carlton and Granada as ITV plc

2004 ITV sells Carlton Books (through MBO) and other non-core operations