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Freeview and Freesat to integrate

Freeview operator Digital UK will integrate with free-to-air satellite platform Freesat.

Digital UK, which is run as a joint venture of the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4, said that the move will ensure that viewers continue to have access to a range of free-to-view TV services in the UK, while also benefiting from technical innovations and developments across the two businesses.

The merger is conditional on regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the coming months.

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 news comes two months after Freeview founding partner Arqiva announced that it was pulling out of Digital UK, with the relationship officially ending at the end of February. It had been reported that the company stood down as a shareholder over a reluctance to invest further in the HbbTV hybrid platform Freeview Plus.