It would seem that ITV and Channel 4 have finally switched on to the fact that they are effectively subsidising Sky & Virgin, by not demanding fees for the transmission of their Pay-TV services. ITV & Channel 4 broadcasting services are not free to air, but are paid for by the advertising revenue. With the pay-tv services piggybacking onto these services it is seen as in the interests of ITV & Channel 4 to charge for this privilege.
as reported in

In 2013, US free-to-air broadcatsers benefited from around $3.3 billion in fees from Pay-TV providers which was less than 3% of the operators revenues and ITV has said that their investment of £1bn into original production is justification enough for retransmission fees.

Chief executive Adam Crozier said the introduction of such fees would “have clear benefits for the UK creative industries and the wider economy”. He added: “The majority of viewing on these pay-TV platforms is PSB programming, yet ITV, whether as producer or broadcaster investing in creating that content, doesn’t receive any payment—despite the fact that pay-TV platforms pay commercial terms for other channels.”

With TV viewing becoming more diverse, independent television needs to come up with more and more was to raise income. Doing this in the U.S has lead to what some call a ‘Golden Age’ in traditional television