DIGITAL TV LAUNCH: Viewers indifferent to digital, surveys find

The hundreds of millions of pounds being set aside to market the various digital services will have to work hard if broadcasters are to overturn consumer indifference to the new channels, according to a number of studies released this week.

The hundreds of millions of pounds being set aside to market the

various digital services will have to work hard if broadcasters are to

overturn consumer indifference to the new channels, according to a

number of studies released this week.



Just over half of the population still hadn’t heard of digital TV and

didn’t know what it was when CIA MediaLab conducted a survey at the end

of last month.



Awareness of the different digital TV platforms also varied dramatically

on the eve of digital’s launch. According to David Fletcher, head of CIA

MediaLab, the study found that prompted awareness was highest for Cable

& Wireless, at 46 per cent, with Sky Digital on 41 per cent and

ONdigital down at 5 per cent.



At the same time, new research from the Henley Centre found that just

over a quarter of all UK consumers still say they are not interested in

having more TV channels than are currently available through network

television.



And those who do express an interest in more choice seem unwilling to

pay extra for more channels. Chris White, a consultant at the Henley

Centre, said: ’A significant proportion of the UK public is interested

in more TV but they want high-cost programming without having to pay for

it. Subscription reinforces the perception of digital TV as a

luxury ... and this is likely to affect the number of people who will

sign up.’



The Henley Centre believes customers would prefer to buy digital on a

pay-as-you-go basis, with flexible payment options, loyalty schemes and

sales promotion campaigns.



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