Government Must Aid Digital TV Growth, Demands Carlton

29 June 2001

More help is needed if the Government seriously wants to encourage Britons to switch to digital broadcasting, said the deputy-chief executive of Carlton Communications last night.

Speaking to a meeting of the Royal Television Society, Carlton’s Nigel Walmsley urged the government to provide more frequencies and more power to enable ONdigital [the struggling dTV platform jointly owned by Carlton and Granada Media] to reach a larger audience in the face of the dominant Murdoch-owned BSkyB.

But infrastructure support was not enough, said Walmsley, signalling the onset of a rhetorical question: “What is the point in asking the private sector (largely the ITV companies) to finance the build of a national digital terrestrial infrastructure while charging ITV £300 million a year in extra taxes?” he enquired.

Despite extending the begging bowl, Walmsley described ONdigital as making “good progress” which would be boosted by its imminent rebranding as ITV Digital [WAMN: 15-Apr-01], linking the platform more directly to the ITV network.

News source: The Times (London)