ITC to re-advertise ITV Digital licences

30th April 2002

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) today, April 30, confirmed that the Administrator had surrendered the three multiplex service licences currently in the name of ITV Digital.

The ITC will issue an invitation to apply tomorrow, Wednesday May 1st, on an accelerated time scale with a view to awarding licences at the end of a six-week period.

During this six week period, the first two weeks will be for potential applicants to submit expressions of interest to the ITC. Those who have done so by the deadline will have a further two weeks to submit full applications. The ITC will then assess the applications in the final two weeks of this period and expects to make an announcement on June 12.

The newly advertised licences will be more flexible than the previous licence. Applicants will, for example, be able to apply for any combination of the three licences on offer or propose any mixture of free-to-air or pay TV services and interactive or data services. They will include standard clauses and will be customised in line with the key proposals of the successful applicant(s).

The ITC would expect those who may wish to use the ITV Digital assets to make relevant information available to the Administrator.

During this period, the ITC will liaise with the Administrator and broadcasters providing the digital terrestrial free-to-air services with a view to ensuring that ITV Digital subscribers will continue to be able to receive these channels, including the five main terrestrial channels, through their set top box.

The ITC is offering information to ITV Digital viewers, including regular updated information on the ITC web site ( The Viewer Relations Unit at the ITC will also provide information to viewers and can be reached by telephone (0845 601 3608), email or letter.

Note to Editors

The Broadcasting Act 1996 currently requires that at least 90 per cent of the capacity on any multiplex must be available for programmes or programme related services (the '90 per cent rule'). If potential applicants have proposals which involve a higher percentage of data services, the ITC stands ready to invite Government to make an Order amending the '90 per cent rule'.