Stuart Prebble, chief executive of ONdigital, is urging his rivals to contribute to a generic campaign promoting the virtues of dTV to the public.

All broadcasters, says Prebble, should run free commercials extolling the benefits of the new technology on their channels. His appeal comes more than a year after a similar plea from government culture secretary Chris Smith.

Smith emphasised at the time that the government would not commit to a firm date for switching-off analogue TV until 95% of the UK population is receiving digital broadcasts. It was thought that this would be some time between 2006 and 2010.

To date, however, some five million homes have converted to dTV, leaving eighteen million still to make a move. But in the fourteen months since Smith’s appeal, says Prebble, over four million new analogue-only TV sets have been sold, impeding the chance of an early end to analogue transmissions.

Beating his breast on behalf of the broadcast industry, Prebble railed: “We are guilty. We ought to have taken this on more quickly.” He also took on the chance to plug that ONdigital is set to meet its interim goal of signing one million subscribers by the end of 2000.

News source: The Times (London)