ABC signed on the dotted line just one day before ITV launched in 1955. ABC weren't originally in the running but were brought in by the ITA after one of the original franchise winners (Kemsley-Winnick) went bust. ABC was awarded two weekend franchises to broadcast to the North and Midlands and bought Kemsley-Winnick's TV equipment for a fraction of the price. ABC lost both of its franchises in the 1968 auction round to Granada, Yorkshire and ATV. However, the ITA didn't want to lose them and so they were merged with Rediffusion to form Thames.