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BBC, ITV and Channel 4 announce the completion of Digital UK and Freesat’s integration

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 announce the completion of Digital UK and Freesat’s integration

Today the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 can announce that they have brought together Digital UK Ltd, which facilitates the provision of Freeview, and Freesat (UK) Ltd, which offers access to the UK’s subscription-free satellite television service.

As previously announced, the coming together of Digital UK and Freesat will help ensure viewers continue to have access to a range of high quality, free-to-view TV services in the UK and benefit from a more streamlined approach to technological innovation and product development.

Jonathan Thompson, Digital UK’s current CEO, will lead the combined entity. Jonathan has a proven track record in leading the evolution of free-to-view television in the UK and ensuring that it continues to deliver for viewers. 

Alistair Thom will be departing his role at CEO of Freesat. BBC and ITV thank Alistair for his excellent leadership of Freesat and wish him the very best for the future.  

Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK, said: “I’m delighted to be heading up the new entity and am very much looking forward to leading the development of free-to-view TV in the UK over the coming years. Freeview and Freesat are both major success stories for the UK’s TV industry and wider society, enabling the public policy goals that underpin public service broadcasting, allowing access to high quality TV for free, for all.”

Alistair Thom, CEO Freesat, said: “I depart with a real sense of achievement for the Freesat I leave behind.  It was my absolute pleasure to lead the transformation of the business, putting it on the path of consistent revenue growth through becoming vertically integrated, developing a Direct to Consumer proposition and establishing relationships with the biggest global SVOD players and Consumer Electronics businesses. I’m excited about what Freesat can bring to Digital UK and everything that a joined up free-to-view platform ecosystem can deliver for UK consumers.”

Digital UK has acquired Freesat from its two shareholders, the BBC and ITV, following the transaction being cleared by the relevant authorities and regulators. The process of bringing together the operations of the two businesses will be implemented over the coming months. 

Note to Editors:

About Digital UK Ltd
Digital UK is the joint venture which facilitates the provision of Freeview TV services in the UK including Freeview Play.  Digital UK works in partnership with many organisations across the industry to deliver a resilient, secure, universal, quality, innovative TV service.

Digital UK’s connected TV service, Freeview Play, brings together the best of the UK’s free content, live and on-demand, from leading broadcasters, including the UK’s public service broadcasters. It is available on the majority of smart TVs sold in the UK and features 30,000 hours of on-demand content. 

Providing viewers with a compelling foundational TV service on to which OTT services can be added, Digital UK plays a key role in delivering consumer choice and supporting the UK’s broadcasters by driving share and prominence.

For more information about Freeview and the work of Digital UK, please visit the website at:]

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About Freesat (UK) Ltd
Freesat facilitates access to subscription-free satellite television in the UK, offering brilliant free recordable TV together with the latest streaming services, including catch-up and pay-as-you-go. 

First and foremost, it’s about giving viewers content, choice and amazing value. But it’s also innovative, ambitious and agile, whether that’s adding new services or finding new ways to help the channels that are available. Profits are invested back into the business, helping to maintain a great user experience for all customers. 

Established in 2007 by the BBC and ITV, Freesat is available via TV and set-top box. Customers have access to a wide range of channels providing entertainment, news, music, and children’s programming and on-demand favourites such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. 

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