A group of investors has reportedly dropped plans to bid for ITV amid concerns about the hole in the broadcaster's pension fund.
American media giant Time Warner and private equity firm Apax Partners were said earlier this month to have considered forming a consortium for a £6.6bn takeover.
But according to reports, talks were abandoned due to the size of the deficit, which stood at £586m at the end of last year. This would have increased the total debt the group would have had to cover.
A spokeswoman for Apax said the group would not comment on the speculation.
ITV was created last year from the merger of Carlton Communications and Granada.