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Wednesday, 11 July, 2001, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Ondigital relaunches as ITV Digital
ITV Digital
The relaunch as ITV Digital has been flagged for months
Digital TV service Ondigital relaunched on Wednesday as ITV Digital, in an effort to boost its fortunes.

The move is intended to improve cross-promotion between Ondigital and the ITV terrestrial services, and reduce duplication.

The change was flagged in April, when Ondigital boss Stuart Prebble also became chief executive of the ITV network.

ITV Digital will also be launching the ITV Sport Channel on 11 August, which promises extensive football coverage including the UEFA Champions League, Nationwide Football League and Worthington Cup matches.

'Cross-promotion'

A spokesman for ITV Digital told BBC News Online: "What rebranding achieves is it gives us the power of the ITV brand - ITV remains the single most popular channel in the UK, and with the BBC one of the most powerful brands in broadcasting."

He added: "We can benefit from cross-promotion, in the same way as the BBC promotes channels like BBC Choice and BBC Knowledge."

ITV Sport
ITV Sport promises a strong football offer
The TV-based web browser Onnet is also changing its name, to ITV Active.

Ondigital launched its service to customers in November 1998, but has not matched the success of rival BSkyB in attracting susbcribers.

The company is owned by the Granada Media Group and Carlton Communications.

In June a number of Granada shareholders surveyed by the Financial Times said the firm should immediately close or sell the loss-making digital TV business after disappointing subscriber figures and greater-than-expected start-up costs.

In 1998 the company predicted it would cost 350m for the service to break even - but the venture has already cost 800m, and does not expect to turn a profit before 2003.

See also:

05 Jul 01 | New Media
Ondigital to keep free set top boxes
27 Jun 01 | Business
Granada urged to ditch ONdigital
13 Jun 01 | Business
Granada reveals 10% ad slump
23 May 01 | Business
Carlton profits slide
25 Apr 01 | New Media
Prebble: Taking the ITV helm
06 Apr 01 | New Media
Digital: Booming or doomed?
17 Jan 01 | Business
Ondigital fights for growth
22 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
What is digital TV?
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