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ITV Via SKY DIGITAL
Solus Cards July 2003
a.. As a result of the BBC's decision to broadcast its services
differently on satellite ('in the clear') satellite viewers who are not pay
TV subscribers may at some point in the near future stop receiving ITV1,
Channel 4 and Five via their satellite boxes.
a.. The BBC will broadcast 'in the clear' from 10 July, although this does
not mean free-to-air only viewers' cards will stop working at that point.
This will not happen until BSkyB disables them. We do not know when Sky
will do this and would recommend speaking to them (08702 404080/
www.sky.com) for more specific details.
a.. ITV1, Channel 4 and Five will, of course, continue to be universally
available through traditional analogue aerials. If you try pressing button
3 on your TV, anyone with a rooftop aerial and analogue coverage should
still receive ITV1.
a.. If you really want to continue watching the digital version of ITV1
then you have two options: (1) contact Sky (08702 404080/www.sky.com) and
subscribe to a pay TV package of which ITV1 will be a 'free' element (2)
find out if you can receive a digital terrestrial signal and obtain a
Freeview (08708 80 99 80 / www.freeview.co.uk) box.
Are you not obliged to be available free-to-view via Sky or satellite?
ITV1 is obliged to be universally available in analogue. We achieve this
using the aerial transmission system. As there are many people now watching
their TV via cable and satellite we are also available on these platforms
but only for viewers who have a valid card or subscription.
How does this effect the government's plans to provide free-to-air digital
services for all?
If and when the Government switches off terrestrial analogue so that ITV1 is
only available in digital format ITV1 will, along with Channel 4, Five and
the BBC, be obliged to be universally available in digital to all viewers.
We will, of course, make whatever provisions are necessary to guarantee
universal access to ITV1 in digital prior to the Government switching off
Why must we remain encrypted? If the BBC can do it, why not ITV?
ITV1's current arrangement with BSkyB was negotiated some time ago and runs
until the end of 2004. The BBC has been able to do this because its deal
has terminated. We will watch carefully the impact of the BBC's move and
consider whether it is an option for us to follow suit next year.
Why will ITV, C4 & C5 not provide cards?
ITV currently pays millions of pounds a year to be available to satellite
viewers. But Sky wanted a lot more money from ITV, C4 and Five to fund
access to free-to-view viewers. We have to weigh our desire to be easily
available to all in digital format against the financial cost - every penny
that comes out of our budgets for carriage is money that can't be spent on
I do not have adequate analogue or Freeview coverage, so why am I being
You are not being penalised. Unfortunately you are a victim of the fallout
from the BBC's decision to abandon the old system of solus cards. If you
can't receive an analogue terrestrial signal for some reason you can, of
course, still receive ITV1, Channel 4 and Five by subscribing to Sky.