ITV to charge for thematics

A report in the London ‘Mail on Sunday' says that new ITV network chairman Archie Norman intends making an early stamp on his authority by starting to charge for accessing ITV's minority thematic channels.

The ITV channels (ITV2, ITV3, etc) are available to satellite, cable and digital terrestrial viewers across the UK, and encryption the channels will make a major dent in the number of ‘free' channels available to viewers.

The reports says the change could take effect as soon as January. However, the last time ITV moved into pay TV it almost cost the bankruptcy of the complete network. That last venture (‘OnDigital' and subsequently ITV Digital) spectacularly went bust in May 2002.