By Deirdre Tynan • 17 August 2021 • 14:53
Laura Whitmore hosts Love Island.
TV lovers can enjoy popular shows such as Love Island and emerging comedy on E4 and Dave for free into the next decade, as ministers extend the licences to operate the platform used to broadcast Freeview.
The government is extending the five national multiplex licences for the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform – better known as Freeview – until 2034. This will protect for the future the main way audiences currently enjoy a diverse range of digital TV channels for free.
Media Minister John Whittingdale said, “Today we are guaranteeing the future of Freeview TV and a diverse range of much-loved news, entertainment and documentary channels well into the 2030s.
“Securing the future of Freeview means people can continue to enjoy its great content while we also protect a vital medium for our public service broadcasters so they can serve audiences in the years to come,” he added on August 17.
It will guarantee prime spectrum – the radio waves used for transmitting signal – for commercial public service broadcasters (PSBs) such as ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, so they can reach the maximum number of viewers in the UK as they compete with the streaming giants in a changing media landscape.
TV multiplexes are digital networks which allow many TV channels to be compressed and transmitted all at once over a single radio frequency. Freeview is hugely popular with UK audiences and is broadcast over a number of multiplexes carrying five or more TV channels, radio stations, text services and electronic programme guides.
The DTT multiplexes guarantee that PSB content is free to air and widely accessible to consumers due to their nearly 99 per cent coverage of the UK. They have become vital for the UK’s TV networks allowing the PSBs to expand their offerings with a host of new channels such as ITV2 and E4.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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