Pay-TV Firms Fume at Prospect of Free Ads for ITV Digital

15 May 2001

Terrestrial digital broadcaster OnDigital is facing opposition from pay-TV companies over its advertising on commercial network ITV.

The broadcaster, owned by ITV companies Granada Media and Carlton Communications, is due to be renamed ITV Digital later this year as it merges with the network as a whole. The digital service could be advertised free of charge on the ITV network if rules governing the advertising of its own services are relaxed.

As part of a consultation on cross-promotion, the Independent Television Commission last month suggested that ITV should be allowed to promote its pay-TV services between and during programmes, which would effectively give ITV Digital free ads.

Naturally this has not gone down too well at rival pay-TV firms whose advertising would not come free. Even though the ITC insisted that ITV would have to tell viewers of the existence of cable and satellite services, Telewest chief executive Adam Singer has nevertheless accused the Commission of favouring the network.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)