The UK government has extended the multiplex licences for the Freeview DTT platform through to 2034.
The renewal will guarantee prime spectrum for pubcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 in order to enable them to reach the maximum number of viewers.
The announcement comes after the government launched a consultation on the renewal of multiplex licences expiring in 2022 and 2026. The feedback from that December 2020 consultation has led the government to give regulator Ofcom the power to carry out a renewal of all five national multiplexes until 2034.
The government will also legislate to make ownership of Multiplex 2, which is currently jointly owned by Channel 4 and ITV, contingent on PSB status – amid an ongoing push from the government to privatise the former.
Media Minister John Whittingdale said: “Today we are guaranteeing the future of Freeview TV and a diverse range of much-loved news, entertainment and documentary channels well into the 2030s. Securing the future of Freeview means people can continue to enjoy its great content while we also protect a vital medium for our public service broadcasters so they can serve audiences in the years to come.”
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