British pay-TV group ONdigital announced yesterday that it has hit its interim target of one million subscribers.

The broadcaster, jointly owned by ITV titans Carlton Communications and Granada Media, had signed 1,012m households to its terrestrial digital TV service by December 31 – an increase of 83% on the year and 134,000 more than in the previous quarter.

Says ONdigital chief executive Stuart Prebble: “We have reached our first 1m sales by the end of 2000. We've achieved it faster than Sky, faster than any cable company, faster than Vodafone, Orange or Cellnet.” Prebble added that he is aiming to double this figure by the end of 2002.

Meantime, owners Carlton and Granada deny there are any imminent plans for an ONdigital IPO, despite the lip-smacking of the markets. The duo, who between them effectively control Britain's ITV network, are equally reticent about the possibility of floating their other valuable property, UK television news service ITN.

News source: Financial Times