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Channel 5 joins Digital UK as members enter new free-to-view TV agreement

ViacomCBS-owned UK broadcaster Channel 5 is set to join Digital UK, the joint venture that operates and develops Freeview and Freesat, alongside existing members the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Sarah Rose

The news comes as the four companies enter a new agreement and marks the first time that the venture has been jointly owned by all four of the UK’s public service broadcasters.

Earlier this year Digital UK merged with Freesat with the aim of ensuring that viewers continue to have access to a range of free-to-view TV services in the UK. The deal meant that the two free-to-view TV organisations, Freesat and Freeview, both now sit under the Digital UK umbrella.

“We’re delighted to welcome Channel 5 to Digital UK and thank all our members for their continuing support,” said Caroline Thomson, chair of Digital UK, in a statement.

“The future of free-to-view television is critical to providing all UK viewers with high-quality British content and we look forward to working with all public service broadcasters to develop and deliver continually evolving and compelling free TV services across Freeview and Freesat.”

Sarah Rose, chief commercial and operations officer at ViacomCBS UK, added: “We’re delighted Channel 5 has joined the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to help shape the future of free-to-view TV as part of Digital UK. Channel 5 plays a distinctive role in public service broadcasting in the UK and, as part of ViacomCBS, can bring a unique perspective to the opportunities that lie ahead.”


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