Digital UK chief executive Ford Ennals says initial estimates that his budget to coordinate digital switchover in the UK would amount to £300m are "likely to be too high". In a wide-ranging interview Ennals told MediaGuardian the exact budget for his independent, not-for-profit organisation, formerly known as SwitchCo, were still to be agreed.
The former marketing director of Lloyds TSB said his overseeing of the Lloyds and TSB brand merger over five years had equipped him for the communications task at Digital UK. "It was very complex but it was very successful. In terms of the experience there of overseeing the integration, and at the same time creating a brand, hopefully some of that will be relevant here," said Ennals.
Digital UK swung into action on Friday, shortly after culture secretary Tessa Jowell confirmed the 2008-2012 region-by-region switchover timetable.
Ennals stressed to MediaGuardian that Digital UK will not favour any particular delivery platform.
Platform neutrality became the issue of a heated debate at the Royal Television Society's Cambridge Convention, earlier the scene of Jowell's switchover announcement.
BSkyB CEO James Murdoch said he was "uncomfortable" with what he called "the element of compulsion in the programme", and accused the Government of delivering an "ultimatum" to viewers.
Murdoch said BSkyB would not be joining broadcasters backing the Digital UK campaign since his company wanted to provide choice.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times said the Government's plans to offer financial assistance to the elderly and disabled to help them make the transition to digital television would require primary legislation.
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