And with a sad inevitability, ITV Digital enters the 0 state. Apparently, pinning the entire company's profitability on the nation's insatiable desire for second-rate footie wasn't the best way forward, even if the pundits line up on Newsnight to say it's all the Government's fault. Beats me.
Which means we now have a national digital TV transmission infrastructure going begging, with a range of cheap set-top boxes ready to roll, a wide range of channels from the BBC already available and lots of space to do something new. No, you can't compete with Sky or cable: you can't fit that many channels into the terrestrial TV band. Nor should you want to -- the low cost of installation suggests a different model.
Public service broadcasting? Yes, please. More channels for more people. More diversity. It's good that the BBC has taken advantage of digital to spread its wings, but it shouldn't have the monopoly: and I know Channel 4 is a public service broadcaster too, but it's more of the same. Who's for a Bhangra MTV? The Brixton Broadcasting Corporation? Digital Countryside Channel? All doable, if we just wanted it.