The crisis at ITV Digital exploded on Tuesday of this week with 1,300 call centre workers facing the sack. ITV Digital was due to switch off its pay TV channels on Tuesday. The collapse will hit smaller football clubs that relied on TV revenues.
ITV Digital was central to New Labour's plans to usher in a new era of digital TV, leaving the airwaves free to be sold off and make millions for the Treasury. Its predecessor, Ondigital, was launched in 1998. It took part in a chaotic scramble for customers against other companies that also hoped to make a fortune.
In June 2000 the company, funded by Granada and Carlton, paid an inflated £315 million for the rights to screen football matches. The company was put into administration in February. It has left New Labour's plan to introduce digital TV through free market measures in tatters.