Ninety per cent of UK consumers across all platforms believe the main channels on the digital-terrestrial platform should continue to be free for all to access, according to research commissioned by Freeview.
According to the survey, 90% of Britons say the main Freeview channels should be free for everyone to access, with 90% of Sky subscribers and 91% of Virgin Media subscribers supporting this proposition.
The online survey, carried out for Freeview by YouGov, found that 49% said that free TV helps them learn things, while 46% said it helped them stay connected with the world.
“Our online research shows clearly that free TV is valued by the British public as something of a national treasure. In times of austerity, people are making frugal decisions about their spending, but even those who choose to pay for TV strongly believe it’s a citizen’s right to have universal access to free television,” said Ilse Howling, managing director of Freeview, adding that “universal access to good quality free TV is a basic right in a functioning democracy”.
Howling added: “This is why, as the debate over the future use of spectrum gets underway, it is vital that a comprehensive free TV offering is maintained and that citizens have the choice to access it; without this, the very notion of our democracy is at risk of being compromised.”
YouGov surveyed 2,066 adults online between June 7-10.