ONdigital in 1 million subscriptions claim

ONdigital, the pay-TV joint venture between Granada and Carlton, claims it is on target to reach 1 million subscribers by the end of the year. The claim follows a 15 per cent rise in subscriptions for the second successive quarter.

The company, which has also unveiled its full Internet service, added 101,000 subscribers to the end of June, to produce a total of 774,000. It claims it will easily reach the 1 million-mark in the run-up to the peak Christmas period.

ONdigital has built its customer base by increasing its routes to market. These include offering knockdown annual subscriptions for as little as &£26, compared with the standard price of nearly &£84, through online auction QXL.com.

A company spokesman refused to say how many customers have been recruited from the site.

ONdigital chief executive Stuart Prebble says: “We remain on target to achieve 2 million subscribers by the end of 2002.”

The Net service will launch in the autumn and enable viewers to click straight from programming and advertisements to the Net, while the TV picture remains in a corner of the screen. Customers will need to connect their set-top boxes to a telephone line.

The portal has been designed by BBC Resources and e-business consultancy Rubus.

Prebble says: “We will be offering the easiest and most cost-effective way of getting on to the Net – no dish, no cable, no computer.”

Prebble With A Cause, page 30

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