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

Tom Horton, PA

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have announced plans to integrate the Digital UK and Freesat television services.

Digital UK is a joint venture by the broadcasters which provides access to Freeview services, while Freesat was set up by the BBC and ITV to provide access to satellite TV.

The move will “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”, a joint statement said.

The merger is set to be completed in a few months, subject to regulatory approval.

Digital UK chief executive Jonathan Thompson 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, Freesat chief executive, 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.”

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