STV will pay ITV £18m, less than analysts were expecting. The settlement also boosts the chances of STV resuming a dividend, sending its share price up 10.6 per cent yesterday.
Relations between the two broadcasters soured in 2009 after STV opted out of some ITV programmes to show homemade shows instead.
ITV said then it would start legal proceedings to recover what it described as a £38m shortfall in network programme contributions.
STV said the claim was completely without merit and launched its own legal challenge. But yesterday the two sides said they had agreed to settle the dispute.
The £18m consists of a £7.2 cash payment payable this year and £10.8m either in programme rights at the end of the year or cash.