ONdigital to publish first progress report

Digital TV broadcaster ONdigital will reveal its sales figures this week, nearly two months after BSkyB said it had signed up more than 350,000 customers to its rival service.

Stephen Grabiner, chief executive of ONdigital, will announce a first quarter progress report for the digital terrestrial service.

ONdigital is jointly owned by ITV shareholders Carlton Communications and Granada. It was launched six weeks later than Sky- Digital.

It is thought to have so far achieved 85,000 to 100,000 sales, amid reports that it needs 2 million subscribers to break even.

ONdigital has encountered problems supplying the set-top boxes needed to access its 30 channels. Recent reports say that sales of the boxes have been so slow that one supplier, Philips, is to take a break from manufacturing them for three months to avoid flooding the market.

ONdigital argues that demand will increase as fully integrated digital TV sets become more widely available and cheaper and the date for the Government’s switch from analogue to digital broadcasting approaches.

Sky shares rose 15 per cent when it announced its digital sales figures in February. It claimed 120,000 of its digital customers were new Sky subscribers who had signed up for the service since its launch on October 1. The satellite broadcaster has set itself a target of 1 million digital subscribers by October.

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