Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Top Up TV
Top Up TV is a pay television service that operates in the UK on the Digital Terrestrial Television platform alongside the Freeview service. After the collapse of ITV Digital in 2002 it was thought that pay television would not return to the platform, however on March 31 2004 it returned with the launch of Top Up TV. The service was launched by two former BSkyB executives.
Unlike ITV Digital the service offers a basic selection of some of channels (according to the BARB ratings) rather than the more expensive and popular sports and movie channels that were offered by ITV Digital. 11 channels are available on the service but these are timeshared; only five are on air at any moment in time. With a monthly subscription charge of £7.99, the service is aimed at those viewers who do not wish to pay £10–£40 (approx €15–€60) per month to Sky Digital or cable operators, yet want a little bit more than Freeview offers. For example, extended coverage of Big Brother, first run Channel 4 dramas like The OC and Six Feet Under, repeats of British television classics like Only Fools and Horses and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet as well as documentaries from Discovery and the UKTV Network.
The BBC, a member of the Freeview Consortium, has accused Top Up TV of confusing customers . Top Up TV has often been criticised for lack of channels and programmes ending in the middle due to the timeshare system.
The service is aiming for 250,000 subscribers within the next year, in order to break even. The service is available through new digiboxes with card slots, integrated digital television sets with a CAM or legacy boxes from ONdigital / ITV Digital. During the first month on air the service gained around 20,000 subscribers. Top Up TV reported a figure of 140,000 subscribers in February 2005 .
On air time in brackets
- 14 - E4 (16:00 - 04:00)
- 17 - UKTV Gold (12:00-00:50)
- 25 - TCM - (17:00 - 05:00)
- 26 - UKTV Style - (18:00 - 23:00)
- 27 - Discovery Channel - (12:00 - 23:00)
- 28 - Discovery Home and Leisure - (06:00 - 12:00)
- 29 - UKTV Food - (10:00 - 16:00)
- 32 - Cartoon Network - (06:00 - 18:00)
- 33 - Boomerang - (05:00 - 12:00)
- 44 - Bloomberg - (05:00 - 10:00)
- 60 - Television X (Costs extra ontop of the £7.99 monthly subscription fee) - (23:00 - 05:00)
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