This note has been prompted by a flurry of activity in UK television media: the renaming of ONdigital (ITV Digital’) and its absorption into the ITV mother ship; the launch of ITV Sport, a new pay-TV channel aimed at sports enthusiasts; the impending final results of BSkyB (Sky’) on 25th July 2001 (dealt with in a separate note issued on 20th July) and the renewed concerns over the funding of the UK cable companies.
ITV Digital itself stresses the importance of thinking about the ‘platform’ and its associated channel, ITV Sport separately. ITV Digital and its shareholders, Carlton and Granada, are highly optimistic about the future performance of the platform. We look at each of the many reasons for optimism that they have advanced. There is strength in many of their arguments, but we still see their breakeven target as very difficult to achieve.