The BBC warmly welcomed ITV's digital satellite announcement today.
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said: "We welcome ITV's intention to take all its channels into the clear on satellite, and also welcome them as partners in the project to develop a consumer friendly, subscription-free satellite proposition.
"This is great news for viewers. It paves the way to provide subscription-free digital television across the whole country.
"The huge success of Freeview, already in more than five million homes, demonstrates how highly free digital television is valued by many people.
"Our long-stated aim has been to bring about an open market in subscription-free satellite services so we can ensure free access to all the BBC's services across the country in the run-up to switchover and beyond."
Notes to Editors
Free satellite can deliver access to digital television and radio without subscription for the quarter of the audience who live outside the current Freeview coverage area.
As part of its public purpose to help build digital Britain, the BBC has pledged to work to make it easier for every home to receive free-to-access digital television and radio.
The outstanding success of Freeview - in more than five million households in three years and with customer satisfaction levels running above 70% - demonstrates how highly many of our audience value free television.
We believe that the development of a free satellite service as a simple, open standard will encourage innovation, quality and range among providers of satellite services, extend choice for audiences, and bring the UK an important step closer to being a fully digital nation.
The BBC outlined its aim to develop a universally available, consumer friendly and low cost free satellite service in Building Public Value in spring last year. The Government endorsed this aim in the BBC Green Paper earlier this year.
In Building Public Value we recognised that the involvement of the other public service broadcasters would be critical.
So we're delighted that ITV has announced its channel family will be joining BBC services in the clear in future, which means viewers will be able to watch them through any make of satellite receiver.
We look forward to working with ITV to realise the development of a free satellite service as a consumer proposition.