We Are Bust Say ITV Digital

By Goodway, Nick; Bond, David | The Evening Standard (London, England), March 27, 2002 | Go to article overview
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We Are Bust Say ITV Digital


Goodway, Nick, Bond, David, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: NICK GOODWAY;DAVID BOND

ITV DIGITAL is to be put into administration by its owner Granada and Carlton Communications, it was reported today, after it failed to renegotiate a deal over a [pound]315 million contract with the Football League.

The loss-making digital terrestrial television broadcaster has 1.3 million subscribers and has cost its owners more than [pound]800 million over the last five years.

The closure will be a massive blow, both to the Football League and to the Government which had seen ITV Digital as the route to switching off analogue television broadcasting, allowing it to auction off the resulting airwaves in the way it did for mobile phone licences.

Accountants Deloitte & Touche were expected to be appointed as administrators to the company in a bid to stave off bankruptcy.

More than 1,800 jobs are under threat at ITV Digital which has already slashed 700 jobs in the last year in a desperate attempt to save costs. It could cost Granada and Carlton up to [pound]400 million to close the business.

The implications of today's decision will be disastrous for the Football League's 72 clubs. As news of the development filtered through to the league, officials tried to cut a last-ditch deal to make ITV Digital change its mind.

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