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31/10/2000

ONDIGITAL ADMITS 'CHURN RATE' IS HIGH

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ONDIGITAL, the pay television and interactive platform jointly owned by Carlton and Granada Media, have admitted that they were suffering a churn rate of lost subscribers approaching 20 per cent a year.
Stuart Prebble, Chief Executive, said he expected churn to fall to 15 per cent, although he added: "I would be a lot happier with 10 per cent." Prebble said an initial churn rate of 15 to 20 per cent had been in the ONdigital business plan.
Sky Digital, owned by BSkyB, in which News International, owner of ‘The Times’, has a 37.5 per cent interest, has a churn rate of 3.5 per cent. The total rises to 10.5 per cent when analogue services, due to end next June, are included.
ONdigital now have 896,000 subscribers, against just over 400,000 at the end of September last year. Pebble says they are still on course to reach one million subscribers by the end of this year and two million by the end of 2002, when they are expected to break even. According to analysts, the numbers are ahead of expectations. ONdigital, requiring only a set-top box, has been available for £79 for 12 months in some stores.
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