Growing digital threat to ITV

Greg Dyke

Former director-general of the BBC, Greg Dyke has warned that ITV's programming is in danger of becoming under-funded in the face of growing competition from digital TV rivals such as Freeview and by the growth of multi-channel television from satellite service Sky.

Dyke has said that the increasing competition will cut the money available for programme making in the commercial sector. But Dyke, at one point tipped as a future chief executive of ITV, believes that ITV will be particularly hard hit.

"The question that comes out is, will the commercial sector, the traditional commercial sector, ITV and Channel 4, will they have enough money to make the sort of programming they have, historically, made. I think for Channel 4 probably yes, I think for ITV, probably no," said Dyke.

"Freeview has been a big success so we will, as a society, go digital. Everyone will go to digital television: half, I suspect, will be on Freeview, and the other half will be on Sky and cable," he added.

After being forced out of the BBC in the wake of the Hutton enquiry, there was speculation that Dyke would replace Charles Allen as chief executive of ITV. In the early 1990s, Dyke was chief executive of London Weekend Television, which is now part of ITV, for three years.

Dyke has also added his support to the recent pressure to abolish the BBC's governors, arguing that it is inappropriate for the governors to be both regulators and supporters of the BBC.

Lovelacemedia  |  27.09.2004

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