ITV Digital subscribers keep boxes

Link: Taking Stock: That’s pathetic, Shierson

Carlton and Granada have agreed to buy nearly one million set-top boxes on behalf of the defunct digital company’s former clients.

The former ITV Digital parents will pay Grant Thornton £2.8m for the 990,000 loaned boxes and then gift them to former subscribers. In effect, the deal will also subsidise a customer base for Freeview, the free digital television service run by ITV rivals BBC and British Sky Broadcasting

Under the original contracts, ITV Digital’s customers were loaned the set-top boxes when they signed up to the television service. But when the company became insolvent, many of the customers chose to keep the boxes which now give them free access to Freeview.

Last month, Grant Thornton appealed to ITV Digital’s former clients saying it would pay £39.99 in return for the boxes. But the pleas fell on deaf ears.

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