April 30, 2002
10:28 PM   Subscribe

ITV Digital is dead. I woke up this morning to find channel after channel replaced with a blue screen, telling me they can no longer broadcast pay-tv. Mtv UK are marking the occasion with lots of slow contemplative music. I want my Mtv! (and E4, UK Gold and ....)
posted by feelinglistless (12 comments total)
Actually, E4 and Film 4 are still available for the moment.... Details can be found here.
posted by LMG at 12:04 AM on May 1, 2002

Well it gave me the kick up the arse I needed to finally get round to cancelling my subscription. It really was a completely piss-weak service, comparable to Sky neither in price nor quality (much as I hate Murdoch). I'm convinced that a large chunk of their subscription base came (as with me) from couples whose more aesthetically-inclined significant other didn't want a Sky dish on the outside of their house...

Even Film Four (which I subscribe to) is much better on Sky: with multiple timed and niche broadcasts (Film Four Extreme etc). Anyway, still laffing at financial journalist mate's proposed "Monkey gets spanked" headline...
posted by bifter at 2:05 AM on May 1, 2002

No doubt about it, ITV Digital was for people who coudn't get cable and didn't want a satellite dish. Not many people will mourn it's passing. I have ntl, and I'm very happy with it, especially the broadband internet.
posted by salmacis at 2:24 AM on May 1, 2002

I think it's sad because Sky needs some effective competition. For many people the choice is now analogue or Sky. And NTL could go tits up at any time as well.
posted by Summer at 2:33 AM on May 1, 2002

I had On-Digital - and then ITV Digital, and it was a poor product - poorly implemented, its a shame really because it had some potential.

I think it's sad because Sky needs some effective competition...NTL could go tits up at any time as well.

Of course the most worrying thing is that if Murdoch now turns his attention to NTL, they probably will go 'tits up'....he's seen off two competitors (BSB and now On/ITV Digital) - I don't think he'll blink before aiming for NTL...and who knows what tactics he'll use...I expect my Sky Digital prices may start falling as NTL finally push into the area....making the decision process a little tougher...
posted by mattr at 2:40 AM on May 1, 2002

Yep the NTL all is one deal is more than adorable (Telewest is about the same if you can't get NTL). ANd they're going to add a load of new channels next month. Yummy.

As fot ITV digital I remain convinced that if half of their spectrum hadn't suddenly become channel 5 or if the Granda/Carlton people could have hung on for another few years it could've been a pretty cool little business. We'll never know though.
posted by nedrichards at 2:43 AM on May 1, 2002

As a 3-hour-of-TV-a-week man, all I wanted was a decent film (which 'FilmFour' provided) and the spectacle of Jeremy Paxman ripping the hell out of uppity teachers now and again, which poor old ITV Digital provided at a decent price. (What's all this tosh about 'quality' - you are surely not confusing this with 'quantity', are you?).

Breaks my heart that the greed of the footie rabble (who's passion I do not share) bankrupted them and have left a clear field for Murdoch to double the cost to me of my film and Paxman.

Bad day.
posted by RichLyon at 12:43 PM on May 1, 2002

All this tosh about quality relates to quality of service. Shockingly enough, people who pay for extra TV often watch TV.
posted by vbfg at 1:06 PM on May 1, 2002

vbfq: shockingly, shockingly enough, not all people who will pay for TV will pay through the nose for fishing programmes, "build-a-bookshelf" programmes, buy-an-ab-fab-flab-bust-omatic programmes and all the other tawdry dross (IMHO) that seems differentiate Murdoch's "premium" offer from ITV's more modestly priced (but in core services, identical) offer.

Never mind. If there is only one thing more unhealthy than being glued to the telly, it must be being glued to Metafilter arguing about the telly!
posted by RichLyon at 3:56 PM on May 1, 2002

My timing must be good - I called OnDigital to cancel subscription (have been meaning to for months, but hey, kick 'em while they're down) on the 29th...the 'liason' bloke on the phone said: "Don't worry, pay the for the next month and you can probably keep the box, 'cos I doubt there'll be anyone working here in a month to collect it anyway...". Most inneffective customer retention pitch I've ever heard. Anyway,he kept calling me gary, so f*ck them. Although I doubt my 14 quid was helping them much...still, at least the beeb channels are still there. Btw, anyone know who owns the actual digital brodcast infrastructure? Does the beeb rely on this to provide 'free' broadcasts?
posted by guy at 7:16 PM on May 1, 2002

Apparently even the free channels will go at some point, but the govt wants someone - sky, whoever - to take over the service and buy the set top boxes. IMO Sky is the best service, not just because of the millions of shit channels you get (the basic package is, what, £13 a month?) but because of the software in the box. You get a decent electronic programming guide and interactivity, which is pretty useful for the news and will be incredibly useful during the World Cup. people hate Sky because 1. it's owned by Murdoch 2. there's snobbery surrounding the dish. I've had Telewest and I've got friends with ITV Digital and Sky beats them easy. The govt's got to get a decent DTT service, with interactivity, up and running otherwise the digital TV market in this country is Murdoch's playground.
posted by Summer at 2:37 AM on May 2, 2002

Breaks my heart that the greed of the footie rabble (who's passion I do not share) bankrupted them and have left a clear field for Murdoch to double the cost to me of my film and Paxman.

Not exactly the case RichLyon...I'm not sure its greed to accept an offer of money for a product which you sell...the football league were offered the contract from the broadcasters in good faith, they did not involve themselves in a long negotiation (in fact they took the ITV digital offer at first sight)....so all they can be accused of is that they have asked for the contract to be honoured.

Is this greed? I do agree that they may have made a huge mistake in not negotiating a reduced offer when the trouble started...but according to reports in UK newspapers - there was NEVER a formal offer made...

Its not greedy to take a good offer for your product...it is greedy to renege on a contract (especially when market capitalisation of the Granada and Carlton groups is huge).
posted by mattr at 5:31 AM on May 2, 2002

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