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August 20, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

The UK’s Independent TeleVision commercial television companies could push for subsidies to help pay for the cost of introducing digital terrestrial television in early 1998, the Independent said. Confidential figures prepared by the companies put the first year net cost of introducing the service at some 40m British pounds, even after advertising revenues. The bigger the license holder, the bigger the share of the cost, with Carlton Communications Plc having to find 12m pounds and Granada Group Plc around 10m pounds, it added. The ITV firms, which have still not submitted business plans to the UK government for how they will introduce the service, could as a result seek an extension on the period of their digital terrestrial licenses, or even subsidies that could be used to cut the price of the set-top decoders needed to receive the service, the paper said; it added the companies were due to confirm their plans to the Department of National Heritage by September, but this deadline had now been pushed back to October 15.

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