BSkyB plans 6m autumn TV ad blitz to promote digital service

BSkyB is to spend 6m on TV advertising in October as part of its aggressive 60m push into digital television.

The company has already confirmed that it will offer free installation of dishes, at a cost of 80 per subscriber, for its new 200-channel service.

One source says: “The key job for Sky is to get existing analogue subscribers to upgrade, and make sure they don’t defect to British Digital Broadcasting [ONdigital].”

A Sky spokesman says: “We will have a very heavyweight campaign in the autumn.”

ONdigital, which announced it would spend 40m on its November launch, is understood to have scaled down its plans to a regional rather than a national launch, with the emphasis on the London area, but a spokesman refused to comment.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has allowed BSkyB to sell four of its channels outside the terms of its wholesale supply of stations to cable operators.

The channels are Sky News, Sky Soap, Sky Travel and .tv (formerly known as The Computer Channel).

Since 1995 Sky has had to seek approval for the structure and prices of the stations it sells to operators after they complained that Sky abused its power and exploited the market. These channels are the first to be released from that agreement.

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