A survey commissioned by financial analyst UBS has found 40% of UK terrestrial viewers would be prepared to pay for their television were ITV to move its channels to a pay model.
The struggling commercial network currently broadcasts four thematic channels; ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV on cable, satellite and DTT. In June it was reported that ITV had held talks with Sky with a view to moving its bouquet into one of the satcaster’s pay-TV tiers.
Such a move would call into question ITV’s commitment to both Freesat and Freeview, not to mention the undermining of the ‘Pay once, no subscription’ message delivered by the two free-to-air platforms.
The UBS consumer survey, commissioned from GfK NOP, found 24% of non-pay homes would be likely to subscribe if ITV2, 3 and 4 were only available on Virgin Media and Sky. The figure rises to 40% in the unlikely scenario of ITV1 also becoming pay.
The survey also found one third of households with terrestrial television would be likely to move to pay-TV “in the future”.