ITV Digital used to be the sole British terrestrial digital television broadcaster. It was launched as ONdigital in 1998, and renamed ITV Digital in April 2000, but withdrew its service and went into administration in early 2002. Its main shareholders are the UK ITV broadcasters Carlton Communications plc and Granada plc.
Following an expensive deal with the Football League and disappointing takeup of its digital TV service, it was placed into administration on 27 March 2002. Most subscription channels stopped broadcasting on ITV Digital on 1 May 2002. The collapse caused severe financial difficulties for lower-division football clubs who had budgeted for large incomes from the television contract.
It had a famous advertising campaign involving the comedian Johnny Vegas and a knitted monkey. A replica knitted monkey could be obtained by signing up to ITV Digital. Because the monkey could not be obtained without signing up to the service, a popular market for second-hand monkeys developed. At one time original ITV Digital monkeys were fetching several hundred pounds on eBay and even knitting patterns delivered by email were been sold for several pounds.
A consortium made up of the BBC, BSkyB and Crown Castle International has been given ITV Digital's old broadcasting license, and launched the Freeview service in the autumn of 2002, offering 30 free-to-air channels but no subscription or premium services.
Ironically, ITV Digital operated out of the south London building that had once housed the lavish headquarters of British Satellite Broadcasting.
See also: British Sky Broadcasting