Freeview, the new UK digital terrestrial service has released details about it’s planned launch. The company, which is backed by the BBC, Crown Castle and BSkyB, plans to launch the free-to-air service on October 30. It has also revealed its complete channel line up.
Freeview will carry all the BBC’s new digital channels, while BSKyB will supply Sky News, Sky Travel, and Sky Sports News. New channels from EMAP, MTV, UKTV and Flextech complete the lineup. MTV’s new channel will be called ‘The Music Factory’ and is based on an existing service it runs in Holland and Belgium.
UKTV will be including the new UK History, as well as a new channel called UK Homestyle. Flextech’s offering will be in the entertainment arena with a completely new channel called FTN.
Along with these the lineup will include commercial radio services Kerrang!, Smash Hits, Kiss, Oneword and Jazz FM. This will radio stations will join the already announced lineup from BBC Radio.
However, the announced lineup does differ from the original submission to the ITC. Noticeably the Turner channels (Boomerang, TCM and CNN) are now missing. Press reports indicate that Turner and Freeview are still in negotiations for the last slot on the platform, so it is possible that another broadcaster and channel could slip in.
Speaking on the announcement Andy Duncan, Marketing and Communications Director, said: Freeview is a fresh start for digital terrestrial television – providing a simple way for people way to see all eight of the BBC’s digital television channels, including the soon to launch BBC THREE, and to listen to BBC digital radio stations
It will also offer interactive services, linked to a wide range of BBC programmes from sport to children’s and documentaries.
Whilst Chief Operating Officer, Richard Freudenstein, for BSkyB said: Freeview is a distinctive addition to Europe’s most advanced digital television market.
Sky looks forward to bringing three of our basic-tier channels to digital terrestrial television for the first time and extending the benefits of increased choice to still more UK viewers.