ITV Digital reaches for the off button

The digital broadcaster, famed more for its annoying knitted monkey than the number of subscribers, collapsed after co-owners Granada and Carlton Communications decided to pull the plug.

A statement is expected to be issued by the company later today, thought it is believed that Deloitte & Touche would be appointed administrators.

The Big Five firm was last month brought into to assist the company as it fought to control its cost base.

Carlton and Granada have poured £800m into the venture, which has been hit by the downturn in advertising revenue.

The two media giants have been locked in desperate talks with the Football League in a bid to revise its £315 million broadcasting deal with the channel.

The ITV Digital/ITV Sport Channel division made a loss of £351.4m on sales of £175m in the annual results to September 30 2001. Last month it report it had 1.26m subscribers.

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