The collapse of ITV Digital will undermine Tony Blair's targets

The possible collapse of ITV Digital will hit the Government's plans for digital TV harder than it will hit the retailers that...

The possible collapse of ITV Digital will hit the Government's plans for digital TV harder than it will hit the retailers that provide interactive TV services, analysts have warned.

The terrestrial pay-TV platform was placed into administration last week. If it goes into liquidation it would hit the Government's aims to get the whole country on to digital TV by 2010, but the effect on the interactive TV retail market would be negligible, said Davnet Cassidy, an analyst at research firm GartnerG2.

"The majority of interactive services are available via Sky's Active platform," she said. "A number of retailers had signed up to ITV Digital but it was more of an experimental platform than anything else because of its low consumer take up."

Cassidy added, "A terrestrial network is important for the Government's 2010 targets for reaching people in areas cable and satellite cannot reach. To meet these targets the Government will have to intervene by, for example, subsidising set-top-boxes."

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