BDB to become ONdigital in 40m autumn launch

British Digital Broadcasting, the pay-TV broadcaster, is to launch this autumn with the name ONdigital and a 40m advertising budget.

ONdigital chief executive Stephen Grabiner says the company’s aim is to increase the pay-TV market from its current 25 per cent penetration (about 6 million subscribers) to 50 per cent (about 12 million). He adds:”Our watchwords are quality, affordability and unbeatable customer service.”

Soap stars unveiled the new name at a presentation yesterday (Tuesday), which outlined the ONdigital service of 15 subscription channels from broadcasters including BBC/Flextech, BSkyB and ONdigital’s joint owners Carlton and Granada, available through a set-top box. This will also give access to the free terrestrial digital services, from BBC1 and 2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

ONdigital commercial director Anthony Sethill says the new name, dreamt up by Wolff Olins, was chosen for its simplicity. “We wanted something that was part of the television landscape.” ONdigital’s advertising will be through Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, with media buying handled by New PHD.

During its first six months on air, ONdigital will introduce interactive features, including weather and travel services, interactive TV advertising, and programme-based information.

ONdigital will announce its full channel line-up and pricing in September. It says its subscription will be less than 10 a month.

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