Carlton and Granada Target BT as ITV Digital Partner

15 October 2001

Carlton Communications and Granada Media are eyeing British Telecom as a potential partner for their ailing ITV Digital pay-TV joint venture.

BT, headed by Sir Christopher Bland, has made no decision regarding a strategic alliance with the duo, though the telecoms group has been eager to invest in programming. The price of supporting the cash-haemorrhaging terrestrial digital platform could be stakes in Carlton and Granada.

Said one insider: “'Bland has told Carlton chief executive Gerry Murphy that he is prepared to review the situation after BT de-merges its mobile phone operations towards the end of this year. But I think ITV Digital is going to have to become much more of a commercial success before BT gets involved.”

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