SwitchCo, the unimaginatively titled quango that will co-ordinate the UK’s switchover to digital television, has finally been formally formed, with Barry Cox confirmed as Chairman.
The group has been formed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five, Teletext and S4C and digital terrestrial television multiplex operators Crown Castle and SDN. They will be represented on its management board and provide funding, alongside two representatives of the supply side of the industry, the receiver manufacturers, retailers and aerial installers.
Barry Cox will be chairman of SwitchCo. Ford Ennals, previously managing director of the direct marketing division of Universal Music, will be chief executive. “Digital television is a great UK success story – almost 60% of households have already made the switch,” he said. “Moving the whole country to digital will be a great challenge. My first task will be to start a dialogue with television viewers, consumer groups and other important stakeholders to get their views so we can begin to shape our communication plans.”
Andy Townend, former controller of distribution at the BBC will become director of commercial and business affairs.
SwitchCo has been charged with implementing the timetable laid down by the government and media regulator Ofcom is completed on time, with digital switchover complete by 2012.