SwitchCo chairman Barry Cox says London's winning of the 2012 Olympics could put back digital switchover in the capital.
Under Ofcom's suggested region-by-region switchover timetable—expected to be approved later this year by culture secretary Tessa Jowell—London is due to have its analogue transmitters switched off in 2011.
According to The Business, that target could now slip due to the Olympics. The newspaper said officials want to avoid any risk of an embarrassing TV blackout during the Games.
Cox told The Business: "It was assumed we would not win [the Olympics]. Within 24 hours of the result the Department of Culture got in touch and said we have to have a rethink [about London].
"We are trying to work out how we handle it, effectively suspending work for a few months. But if when it comes to it we do the regional roll-out a lot faster than planned, then we may have switched over before the Games. It is a very complicated plan and you have to assume prudence would tell us to delay it."
The Business said the 2011 target switch-off year for London was later changed to 2012 for technical reasons. The newspaper said a delay in London could put back switchover in the two final regions, Ulster and Channel, to 2013, a year beyond Labour's election manifesto commitment to switch off analogue by the end of 2012.
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