Independent Broadcasting Authority

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by
Kris Starring


The IBA began life in 1954 as the ITA (the Independent Television Authority), the government regulator and transmitter operator of ITV. It became the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority) in 1972 when the British Parliament passed the Sound Broadcasting Act, which created legally licensed commercial radio (or ILR, Independent Local Radio) and gave the Authority the task of regulating and monitoring these newly created radio stations as well as operating and maintaining their transmitter networks. The IBA continued to exist until it was disbanded by the Broadcasting Act of 1990, which replaced it with the ITC (Independent Television Commission) and the Radio Authority. The transmitter operations were privatized as a new company called NTL (National Transcommunications Limited) which was recently sold and renamed Arqiva. Interesting to note, however, is that the IBA did have a set of onscreen idents used on ITV back in the '70s and '80s to introduce engineering announcements.

1st Logo (1973-1990)

Logo: Just a white IBA logo (the letters "IBA" in a rounded rectangle outline shape) on a blue background.

Variant: A winter variant exists where the IBA logo is covered with snow and is right beside a snowman, along with a snow-piled floor below it.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None or a stock orchestral piece playing over it, but sometimes an announcer would be heard over the logo announcing the start of an engineering announcement from the IBA.

Availability: Extinct outside of tape recordings. This logo only appeared on engineering announcements that appeared on ITV in the '70s and '80s.

2nd Logo (1982-September 10?, 1985)

Logo: Over a blue background, we see the three-dimensional letters "IBA" fade in and rotate clockwise to face us, appearing to be blue most of the time before facing the camera. A white rounded rectangle outline fades in and rotates counterclockwise to place itself around "IBA", featuring the same effect.


  • In 1984, the background was changed to a washed-out teal color.
  • During its early years, the logo appeared to be running at a faster speed, causing the fanfare to become out of sync.

Technique: It appears that the logo is a shot on video with a live model that is keyed over a blue background using electronic video effects. You can tell by how the model's lighting affects the logo's visibility and colors. The method would be similar to the effects used on the 1969-1985 BBC1 Mirror Globe.

Music/Sounds: A eight-note sawtooth wave stinger is played on an analog synth, followed by three reverberated chords. This was composed by Clint Rose and is made on a a Korg MS20. Sometimes an announcer says, "This is the Independent Broadcasting Authority.".

Availability: Extinct outside of tape recordings. It was only used on the early '80s era engineering announcements from the IBA, which formerly appeared on ITV until May of 1983, where they moved to Channel 4 and S4C.

3rd Logo (September 10?/17?, 1985-1990)

Logo: We see the front end of an office building, presumably the IBA headquarters in Winchester. At the bottom of the screen, a gray/black gradient bar wipes in from the right in which a miniature version of the IBA logo appears, brought forth utilizing the same animation as the 2nd logo.

Technique: Looks like the IBA invested in CGI this time. Very professional by late '80s standards.

Music/Sounds: A dreamy synth chime tune plays, which was later used as a jingle by Granada in the early '90s.

Availability: Extinct outside of tape recordings. This was, once again, only used on engineering announcements from the IBA, save for the last two in the summer of 1990 leading up to the controversial Broadcasting Act. The last two IBA engineering announcements were one episode dealing with the introduction of Transcom (NTL) and the disbandment of the IBA, and the final being a retrospective of ITA/IBA engineering announcements over the past two decades.

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