Ex-Sky duo to offer limited pay-TV deal for Freeview boxes

Two former Sky executives, David Chance and Ian West, have set up a company that allows some digital terrestrial households to receive a limited pay-TV service.

Top Up TV launches with a universe of the 800,000 former ITV Digital customers and 300,000 Freeview boxes that have the capacity to take a viewing card. It will offer a basic package of channels cheaper than those available from Sky or the cable companies.

On top of the existing free-to-air 26-channel Freeview offering, Top Up TV will offer subscribers ten premium channels. These include: UK Gold, E4, Cartoon Network, Discovery, UK Style, Bloomberg, Turner Classic Movies and Television X.

Top Up TV differs from the old ITV Digital model - rather than pay an up-front fee, subscribers can pay on a month-by-month basis. According to Chance, the chairman of Top Up TV and a former deputy managing director of Sky Television, the service will break even with 250,000 subscribers.

Branded has been appointed to handle marketing, branding and communications output for Top Up TV.

- Forum, p10.

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