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MetalGearRex1,058 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
Having researched on the failures of ITV Digital, I'm quite interested in thinking about what could have made it a success.
Make a realistic pricing structure:
One of the reasons why OnDigital failed was because the pricing structure was confusing. There could have been a far more realistic structure as follows -
Primary
Primary + Sports
Primary + Movies
Complete Bundle

That could have created a budget option for viewers not wanting to pay for Sky, NTL and Telewest's prices.

Transmitter reception: Again using 64QAM for all muxes caused awful reception. It would have been practical to use the Freeview transmission system for pre-switchover.

A successful OnDigital could have had different outcomes for digital TV as a whole. Switchover would have been set for 2010 completion, pay TV penetration would have been higher, and channels designed to promote FTA would have been non-existent. For example, Pick would have been instead, Sky1, and Quest would be housing instead, Discovery.

Also by this time, Granada and Carlton would have planned their merger to take place far earlier (ITV Digital's collapse delayed it). Would it have directly caused channels such as Plus, M&M and Carlton Cinema to turn into ITV branded services? (Plus and M&M evolved into ITV3 and ITV4 after merger)

What other factors could have led to the possible success of On/ITV Digital?
'What is the only planet capable of sustaining life?'
'Mars.'
Larry the Loafer4,448 posts since 2 Jul 2005
Granada North West Today
One of the big factors I was made aware of was that NDS, who provided the encryption for Sky Digital, were leaking codes to hack and pirate OnDigital boxes, so they ended up losing a hell of a lot of money when they'd dropped a ton of it on football rights. I'm too young to know just how much it was struggling at the time beforehand but I was under the assumption that it failed because it simply blew money they didn't have.
MetalGearRex1,058 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
Sky not being forced out of the consortium because of competition laws. That's it IMO.

OnDigital had to pay £60million to Sky each year thanks to them being kicked out of the consortium. Had they stayed in then OnDigital wouldn't have been suffering as much financially.
'What is the only planet capable of sustaining life?'
'Mars.'
London Lite7,672 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
The football rights in my personal opinion. It was one step too far for a fledgeling provider.

I don't think it helped that when watching Sky 1, there were shows that they didn't have the DTT rights for, so showed poor replacements. Guilty seemed to be one of the shows they'd air and they didn't have The Simpsons.

However I applaud OnDigital for my first experience of digital tv, even if the Nokia Mediamaster box now looks like a museum piece.

I think we've finally found a product that attracts just the type of market ITV Digital were looking for with NOW TV, ironically owned by Sky. Freeview, rather than ITV Digital saved DTT thanks to a reasonable selection of FTA channels.
1
MetalGearRex1,058 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
The football rights in my personal opinion. It was one step too far for a fledgeling provider.

I don't think it helped that when watching Sky 1, there were shows that they didn't have the DTT rights for, so showed poor replacements. Guilty seemed to be one of the shows they'd air and they didn't have The Simpsons.

However I applaud OnDigital for my first experience of digital tv, even if the Nokia Mediamaster box now looks like a museum piece.

I think we've finally found a product that attracts just the type of market ITV Digital were looking for with NOW TV, ironically owned by Sky. Freeview, rather than ITV Digital saved DTT thanks to a reasonable selection of FTA channels.

The football rights...OnDigital already by that time, had streams for Sky Sports 1, 2 and 3. Should have left it to Sky, thus creating a more favourable position for all Sky, Cable and ITV Dig viewers.
'What is the only planet capable of sustaining life?'
'Mars.'
London Lite7,672 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
The football rights in my personal opinion. It was one step too far for a fledgeling provider.

I don't think it helped that when watching Sky 1, there were shows that they didn't have the DTT rights for, so showed poor replacements. Guilty seemed to be one of the shows they'd air and they didn't have The Simpsons.

However I applaud OnDigital for my first experience of digital tv, even if the Nokia Mediamaster box now looks like a museum piece.

I think we've finally found a product that attracts just the type of market ITV Digital were looking for with NOW TV, ironically owned by Sky. Freeview, rather than ITV Digital saved DTT thanks to a reasonable selection of FTA channels.

The football rights...OnDigital already by that time, had streams for Sky Sports 1, 2 and 3. Should have left it to Sky, thus creating a more favourable position for all Sky, Cable and ITV Dig viewers.


Yet ITV Digital overbid for Football League rights which weren't as valuable as the company thought they would be. One way or another, the platform wasn't mature enough for ITV Digital and it certainly wasn't for Top Up TV.
Inspector Sands11,000 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Sky not being forced out of the consortium because of competition laws. That's it IMO.

OnDigital had to pay £60million to Sky each year thanks to them being kicked out of the consortium. Had they stayed in then OnDigital wouldn't have been suffering as much financially.

The bigger advantage is that the encryption probably wouldn't have been so 'leaky' had Sky been on board rather than competing.
nwtv20037,980 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Granada North West Today
Sky not being forced out of the consortium because of competition laws. That's it IMO.


This, if Sky was on board they wouldn't have been so aggressive with marketing Sky Digital at the time, even though it was the superior product. Sky were on board as it was a new way to get Sky into non satellite and cable homes, a bit like what NOW TV is today.

Also having only 50% coverage and a weak signal didn't help either.

Overpaying for Football League rights had disaster written all over it. I think if Sky had been part of the consortia and OD had been a success at this time I don't think they'd have made this bid.

I think if they had outbid Sky for the Premier League I do believe it could have ended differently.
steve
steviegTVreturns