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20 August 2002

BBC and BSkyB digital collaboration named

The BBC and BSkyB-operated successor to doomed ITV Digital is to be named Freeview and will launch in the autumn.
The new digital terrestrial platform will be marketed as a "fresh start," and will include another three channels on top of the 28 already announced. Set-top boxes will go on sale for a one-off fee of around 99.
"Freeview will be a fresh start for many consumers," said Andy Duncan, the BBC's director of marketing and communications.
"As well as former ITV Digital customers, people who make a one-off equipment cost of around 99 will be able to enjoy this simple, compelling proposition - more high quality channels, entirely free to view."
The BBC/BSkyB bid, in conjunction with transmission business Crown Castle, beat a rival proposal from ITV and Channel 4. The 12-year licence was awarded by the independent television commission last month.
"We believe we have a compelling range of channels with the broadest possible appeal to those seeking to extend their viewing choice," said Peter Abery, the Crown Castle president and managing director.
The service will carry all terrestrial channels as well as a range of extra services, including BBC Choice, ITV2, BBC4, News 24, Sky Sports News and two new channels - UK History and Sky Travel.
The three extra services that have not been announced have been earmarked as two general entertainment channels and a music channel.
(GB)



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