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13/08/2002

Carlton and Granada move in on football highlights

ITV companies Carlton and Granada are set to sign a new deal with the Football League, just months after their decision to close ITV Digital cost the clubs £131 million and left many on the brink of bankruptcy.
Carlton and Granada, which have been involved in a bitter battle with the Football League ever since ITV Digital collapsed, are on the verge of snapping up the rights to Football League highlights in a three-year deal worth about £6 million.
The deal is worth just a fraction of the £315 million live and highlights contract the ITV companies entered into two years ago when they launched ONdigital, later rebranded ITV Digital.
But it means the Football League is prepared to move on despite its recent ignominious defeat in the high court, when it failed to recoup the £178.5 million it was owed by ITV Digital.
Nevertheless the clubs will be facing a £125 million financial black hole even after the new deal is signed with Carlton and Granada.
Hundreds of players have lost their jobs and several clubs are on the verge of going under owing to the shortfall in TV cash.
(GB)
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