Carlton and Granada forced early closure of ITV Digital

LONDON - Carlton and Granada put only £5m of additional funding into ITV Digital while it was in administration, not the £20m previously reported, leading to an accelerated closure, it has been revealed.

The two companies are understood to have fallen out with Nick Dargan, ITV Digital's administrator at Deloitte & Touche, about the funding of the broadcaster after it was signed over to the accountants for administration purposes.

In a letter to ITV Digital creditors, Dargan said: "The shareholders advised that they were not willing to consider additional investment but that they were prepared to fund an orderly sale of the business. The administrators felt unable to agree to the terms on which that funding was to be made available and therefore commenced an accelerated sales process."

The letter also revealed that appointing Deloitte as administrator since March 27 will cost £1.2m, which will be paid before any of ITV Digital's other creditors, such as BSkyB, get a share of the remaining £9m in the ITV Digital bank account.

ITV Digital is understood to have bills of up to £296m, out of which the Football League and transmission business Crown Castle are owed millions.

Dargan, who has been trying to find a way of settling the bills, said there had been "considerable interest in the broadcaster's assets including the ITV Digital monkey and piles of unsold set-top boxes".

Its database of 1.2m customers is also expected to attract at least two bids.

Dargan's comments were contained in a letter to creditors, asking them to attend a meeting in London on June 13 when further details of the sell-off would be announced.

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