ONdigital furious at `smear'
Thursday 12 November 1998
Shares in Carlton and Granada, the joint backers of ONdigital, fell on rumours that only 43 per cent of homes would have access to a full service at the launch of the operation.
Shares in Carlton closed off 5 per cent at 403p as the speculation grew that there may be problems with the launch. Granada fell 2 per cent to 886p.
The share price fall was triggered by research sent to institutions yesterday that concluded: "ONdigital will be able to provide a full service to 43 per cent of households, compared to BSkyB's 100 per cent national coverage."
The research was published under the name of Claritas, a little-known consumer research group. Data for the research was supplied by the Independent Television Commission.
Carlton and Granada denied there were any problems with set-top boxes, due to go on sale on Sunday, and claimed rival companies were deliberately spreading disinformation.
Andrew Marre, spokesman for ONdigital, said: "Everything is going fine with the launch. This speculation is simply not true." He added that the company expected to give coverage to 70 per cent of households this year and 90 per cent next year. Ondigital pointed to surveys published by trade magazines which showed that Sky's coverage was less than 100 per cent.
A spokesman for Carlton said: "ONdigital is going to be on air, on time." A press launch for the set-top boxes will take place today and boxes will be on sale on Sunday, he added.
Analysts yesterday raised concerns that ONdigital may have failed to generate enough public interest. One said: "If they are launching in four days' time, their marketing has been pretty low key."
Granada hinted that the rumours originated with arch-rival Sky Digital and had no substance. "All these rumours are being chucked into the market and there has been no truth in them," the spokesman said.
A Sky spokesman denied any smear campaign. "We have gone out of our way to say we are not going to respond to any of these suggestions of problems with our competitors."
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...
£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...