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ITV Digital pulled the plug on its pay TV channels this morning after administrators failed to find a buyer for the digital TV company.

Some 1,500 jobs are set to go at two call centres and the company's headquarters in London.

A notice on its screens reads: "We regret to advise that until further notice ITV Digital is unable to continue providing any pay television services to its customers with effect from 7am, 1st May 2002.

"You will continue to view digital free-to-air channels including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

"ITV Digital PLC (in administration) apologises for any inconvenience caused as a result of the termination of pay television services."

The collapse of the service is also likely to dent the Government's ambition for the UK to become a digital TV nation with the planned switch-off of analogue TV by 2010.

Despite this obvious setback, researchers at Forrester predict that the appetite for digital TV in the UK will not be lost.

Looking ahead Forrester predicts that the UK will have the largest number of digital TV households in Europe by 2007 with 67 per cent penetration.

Earlier this week Microsoft was linked with the possible acquisition of ITV Digital. ®

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