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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
ITV Digital crisis: The main players
Granada TV studios
Granada is a major commercial broadcaster in the UK
Are you wondering who's who in the ITV Digital saga? BBC News Online explains.

ITV Digital

ITV Digital is a digital terrestrial television service which offers a range of channels, some of which are free-to-air, while some you have to subscribe to.

It was launched in 1998 branded as OnDigital, but was renamed ITV Digital in April 2000.

The company is jointly owned by the media companies Granada and Carlton Communications, which each have a 50% stake.

ITV Digital signed a deal worth 315m to broadcast Football League matches for three years.

But disappointing viewing figures and high costs led to the company being put into administration last month.

After failing to find a buyer administrators of ITV Digital will now break it up and sell its assets.


Granada is the largest company in the UK's commercial television sector, and currently owns seven major ITV licences covering 15 million homes in the UK.

As well as supplying programmes for ITV, the UK's main national commercial network, it also sells output to other UK channels and to overseas broadcasters.

Granada has investments in other media companies, such as GMTV and Scottish Media Group, and has invested in Liverpool and Arsenal football clubs.

Carlton Communications

Carlton is the other main player in the UK's commercial television sector.

Through the ITV licences that it owns it broadcasts to viewers in London, the Midlands, Wales and the south west of England.

It also makes many programmes for UK channels, including Peak Practice and Crossroads.

Its Carlton International business sells programmes and films to over 100 countries around the world.

Some of the films it owns include Brief Encounter, The Eagle Has Landed, and the Carry On films.

The Football League

The Football League is negotiating on behalf of the 72 football clubs included in the English first, second and third divisions.

It negotiated the original TV deal with ITV Digital, and has rejected compromise deals put forward since the firm was placed in administration.

It says Granada and Carlton have enough money to honour the original deal. They deny they are responsible for their offspring company's liabilities.

The Football League used to represent all the professional football clubs in England and Wales, but in 1992 the top clubs broke away to form the Premier League.

ITV Network

The ITV Network broadcasts the ITV1 channel and the free-to-air digital channel ITV2.

While Granada and Carlton are also shareholders in the ITV Network it has a different board make-up and more shareholders, including television companies such as Border and Ulster TV.

ITV Sport is a department within the ITV Network, while the ITV Sports Channel is the subscription-only channel available via ITV Digital set-top boxes and through some cable operators.

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