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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 23:48 GMT
Dyke: Digital TV will survive
Greg Dyke
The BBC is concerned about fallout from ITV Digital
BBC director general Greg Dyke has said that the collapse of ITV Digital would not mean the end of digital TV.

Talking to BBC Radio Five Live's Drive programme, Mr Dyke said of the embattled ITV Digital service: "There is still a chance it will survive, but if not then it is a sad day.

"They put a lot of money and a lot of effort in to trying to make it work."

The BBC chief blamed the cost of ITV's contract with the football league - and said that the BBC would not take over contract at that price.

He added: "It was a mad week in June 2000 when these contracts came and prices were paid that I suspect will never be paid again.

"For people in football, I suspect this is only the beginning."

'Future'

In an earlier statement, the BBC said that it hoped ITV digital would overcome its current crisis.

"However, if this doesn't happen, we are confident that there is a future for digital terrestrial television," said the statement.

"We can reassure our audiences that the BBC's free to view digital services, including the new digital TV channels - News 24, CBBC, Cbeebies and BBC 4 - will continue to be available to everyone with an ITV Digital box, whatever happens to ITV Digital.

"Obviously, audiences receiving the BBC's channels via Digital Satellite and Digital Cable will also be unaffected."

In his interview on BBC Radio Five Live Mr Dyke said he accepted there had been flaws in the digital technology but he said improvements were being made and digital terrestrial TV would survive.


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