U K media concerns Granada and Carlton Communications have confirmed they are merging their free-to-air TV assets with their joint pay-TV venture ONdigital, bringing closer the total consolidation of commercial TV network ITV.
Stuart Prebble, ONdigital chief executive, was also confirmed as chief executive of the enlarged ITV. Rob Fyfe, currently ONdigital's chief operating officer, will replace Prebble to head up the new-look ONdigital - now renamed ITV Digital. Along with ITV Digital, the revamped ITV operation will include the main ITV channel, digital channel ITV2 and a new sports channel to be launched in August.
Granada and Carlton, the two biggest owners of ITV, aim to collectively save $29m a year in the second full year of the new ITV organisation. The two companies also said that ONdigital added 75,000 subscribers in the first quarter, bringing its total to 1.1 million. The digital terrestrial platform is now not expected to reach year-end targets of two million subscribers.