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19.08.02

ABOUT THE BBC


BBC and Crown Castle name "Freeview"


The BBC and Crown Castle announced today that the name for the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service will be Freeview.


The DTT marketing alliance involving the BBC and Crown Castle today indicated they are targeting an autumn launch date.


Andy Duncan, BBC Director of Marketing & Communications, said: "Freeview will be a fresh start for many consumers. As well as former ITV Digital customers, people who make a one-off equipment cost of around £99 willl be able to enjoy this simple, compelling proposition - more high quality channels, entirely free to view.


"Freeview will also make the BBC's digital channels available to many more licence payers.


"And the name tells people exactly what's on offer - more TV channels free-to-view."


Freeview will bring UK viewers a wide range of digital television channels, as well as interactivity and digital radio.


Crown Castle said today it was on target to add three more channels to the line up described on 4 July when the ITC announced it was awarding the licences to the consortium.


Peter Abery, President and Managing Director, Crown Castle said: "We believe we have a compelling range of channels with the broadest possible appeal to those seeking to extend their viewing choice.


"From favourite genres like history, with the new UK History channel, news from BBC News 24, Sky News and Sky Sports News, and quality children's programmes on CBeebies, Freeview offers something new for viewers who aren't attracted by pay television services but would like more quality TV channels."


The new service will launch this autumn after improvements to the quality and reliability of the digital terrestrial signal have been made.


These technical changes should significantly improve the number of UK homes able to receive digital terrestrial television (DTT) without needing an aerial upgrade and significantly decrease the proportion of homes affected by reception problems prevalent when ITV Digital ran the platform.


The ITC has announced that, following the success of the BBC and Crown Castle in the re-tendering process on 4 July, it has formally granted the DTT licences to the BBC and Crown Castle.


The BBC holds Multiplex Service Licence B and Crown Castle Licences C and D.


Notes to Editors


DTT
DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) provides a range of digital television services to viewers via their existing aerials.


Freeview line up
The channel line-up for the platform is expected to be as follows. Channels new to the platform (i.e. not previously available on ITV Digital or free-to-view) are shown in bold.


Entertainment
BBC ONE
BBC TWO
BBC Choice
ITV 1
ITV 2
Channel 4
Channel 5
S4C *
Sky Travel
General entertainment channel (tbc)
General entertainment channel (tbc)


News and Sports News
BBC NEWS 24
Sky News
Sky Sports News
CNN

ITN


Culture, History and Ideas
BBC FOUR
UK History


Movies
TCM (Turner Classic Movies)


Children's
CBBC
CBeebies
Boomerang


Citizenship
BBC Parliament (previously available on DTT as audio-only)
The Community Channel
S4C2 *


Music
Music channel (tbc)


Other
QVC
TV Travelshop


Interactivity
BBCi (Interactive television and text)
Other interactive services (tbc)


Radio
Six BBC Radio services
Commercial radio services (tbc)


Building a robust DTT platform
A new technical regime will strengthen the DTT platform. This work will include:
· changing the transmission mode to increase significantly the resistance to interference
· rolling out power doubling trails across all transmitter stations
· considering equalisation packages where possible.


These measures will produce an important improvement in the reliability of the service received by consumers, increasing the number of homes able to receive DTT, and reducing the number of homes affected by impulsive interference.


DTV Services Limited: BBC, Crown Castle and BSkyB
DTV Services Ltd – a joint venture between of the BBC, Crown Castle and BSkyB – exists to provide consumer and retailer support for the DTT platform.


The BBC holds the licence for Multiplex B licence and is the UK's most trusted broadcaster.


With its portfolio of digital channels and services, the BBC is committed to ensuring that free-to-view digital television is universally available.


Crown Castle holds the licences for Multiplexes C and D and brings to the consortium many years of technical expertise in the transmission industry.


Together with BSkyB, the UK's leading digital television operator and a provider of three channels to the DTT platform, the consortium is uniquely positioned to realise the full potential of DTT.


Further information
More about the BBC's digital services and how to receive them can be found on the BBC’s website on www.bbc.co.uk/digital


The ITC press announcement about the granting of the DTT licences is available on the ITC website on www.itc.org.uk


BBC and Crown Castle to champion digital for everyone


BBC and Crown Castle submit complementary applications for digital terrestrial television licences


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