Socialist Worker

Another 1,500 cable jobs go in meltdown

Issue No. 1799

CABLE company Telewest is sacking 1,500 workers as the crisis in the communications industry grows. The announcement came just a week after ITV Digital went bust, with the loss of 1,500 jobs. The ITV Digital collapse will also lead to the sacking of about 600 footballers from the lower leagues.

That is as many as one in four of the footballers in those leagues. Some will receive as little as £250. Telewest is Britain's second largest cable company. The 800,000 subscribers to ITV Digital have been told they are unlikely to get their money back.

On top of this NTL, the biggest cable company in Britain, announced last week that it would file for bankruptcy protection in the US. New Labour has been pushing digital TV. It was supposed to mean that analogue frequencies (which most people's TVs use) would be switched off over the next eight years.

The government could then sell off the airwaves to mobile phone companies. Cable firms dived in to offer competing digital packages. ITV Digital agreed a massive £315 million deal with the Football League to show non-Premiership matches.

But the bubble burst, as very few people have paid to watch.

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Article information

Sat 11 May 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1799
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