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Freeview and Freesat to merge

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 announce plans to integrate Digital UK and Freesat

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CF
CallumF
Just been announced that the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 plan to merge the platforms later this year:
Quote:
BBC, ITV and Channel 4 announce plans to integrate Digital UK and Freesat

The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have announced plans to integrate Digital UK Ltd, the joint venture which facilitates the provision of Freeview TV services and Freesat (UK) Ltd, which offers access to the UK’s subscription-free satellite television service.

The integration of Digital UK and Freesat will help ensure viewers continue to have access to a range of free-to-view TV services in the UK as well as benefit from technological innovations and developments across the two services.

Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK, said:

“We welcome this opportunity to work more closely with Freesat whilst continuing to deliver our mission of ensuring everyone in the UK can access a high quality TV service for free. The combined entity will promote the very best of free-to-view content whilst reflecting the changing nature of consumer consumption.”

Alistair Thom, CEO, Freesat, said:

“We believe that building on the best that both Freesat and DUK have to offer will ensure that free to air continues to be an exciting and vibrant proposition for UK consumers. This proposition will continue to provide UK viewers with great content however they choose to consume it, whether that is linear or on demand.”

The integration is conditional on receipt of merger control and regulatory approvals, and, subject to those approvals, is expected to close in a few months.


Point made clearly here that this is likely due to the growth of streaming services:


BB
BBI45
As somebody with two TVs with Freesat and one TV with Freeview, what impact is this likely to have on customers?
BR
Brekkie
Will be interesting to see if C4 HD returns to Freesat. Think All4 was pulled as well IIRC.
BB
BBI45
Will be interesting to see if C4 HD returns to Freesat. Think All4 was pulled as well IIRC.

Yep. C4HD and All4 were pulled a while ago.
LL
London Lite Founding member
BBI45 posted:
As somebody with two TVs with Freesat and one TV with Freeview, what impact is this likely to have on customers?


With one company, it'll be easier to market Freesat to Freeview customers who may otherwise only have DTT. One of Freesat's issues has been that it doesn't have strong brand recognition where Freeview does as it says what it does on the tin.

I'd speculate that the Freesat name will be dropped for something long the lines of Freeview-Sat which gives viewers the opportunity to watch extra FTA channels not on the current DTT platform. This will be helpful for those relays which only receive the PSB muxes and not the commercial muxes.
VA
valley
Is it not the case that Digital UK Ltd still only owns the operational side of Freeview, with DTV Services Ltd (of which Sky is also a shareholder) owning the part handling the marketing?

No mention of Arqiva, presumably because they are stepping down as a shareholder from both companies in March.
RR
RR
One question is the position of Channel 4, who currently are not part of Freesat, and partly as a result do not make their HD channel available on the Freesat EPG.
AB
AcerBen
What is the benefit of Freesat right now, over Freeview? I actually watch Freesat at the moment because my aerial socket is dodgy but apart from extra +1 channels of channels I don't watch anyway, and a few more foreign news channels and shopping channels, I don't really see what the point of it is?

In fact, I'd rather have Freeview because here in Manchester I would be getting a few extra music channels + 4Music. And Channel 4 HD.
KE
kernow
I wonder if this will end up having an impact on the pricing structure of the Freesat EPG carriage costs, potentially resulting in the restoration of some of the music channels to the EPG, a section which was decimated as a result of the new pricing structure (together with various channels closing down).
TE
Technologist
As I read it ... it is just the merger of the operations ..
The EPG and hbbtv and other techy bits
Nothing to do do with Freeview DTV services and Freesat merging .
I.e commercial things .
NW
nwtv2003
It’s entirely rational move, which probably should have been done a number of years ago. The only thing is, are Sky and Arqiva no longer part of the Freeview/Digital UK consortium?
LL
London Lite Founding member
What is the benefit of Freesat right now, over Freeview? I actually watch Freesat at the moment because my aerial socket is dodgy but apart from extra +1 channels of channels I don't watch anyway, and a few more foreign news channels and shopping channels, I don't really see what the point of it is?

In fact, I'd rather have Freeview because here in Manchester I would be getting a few extra music channels + 4Music. And Channel 4 HD.


Another thing that may happen is that the new company requests that manufacturers provide for example a combined DVB-T2/DVB-S2 receiver with the smart functionality which provides the best of all worlds.

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