A report commissioned by Digital UK – the company that manages strategy and policy for digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the UK – reveals the major economic benefits that Freeview and other terrestrial TV services deliver to the UK.
The report – The value of Digital Terrestrial Television in an era of increasing demand for spectrum – shows that the country’s most widely used platform returns nearly £80 billion to the economy and challenges the view that mobile broadband delivers more value from airwaves than television.
The findings come at the start of a year when crucial decisions about the future of free-to-air TV will be made by policy makers in the UK and EU. Just over a year after digital switchover freed up capacity for 4G mobile broadband, a further shake-up of the airwaves is being considered to release more spectrum for the mobile market.
The report – carried out by media and telecoms consultancy Communications Chambers – sets out for the first time the economic and social importance of DTT which delivers broadcast channels for both Freeview and YouView – and is watched in three-quarters of UK homes.
Key findings include:
Other key points:
Digital UK and its members (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva) are urging government to ensure any further transfers of airwaves do not weaken Freeview and other terrestrial TV services, and that viewers should not suffer disruption or foot the bill for making the changes.
According to Jonathan Thompson, Chief Executive of Digital UK, the report sheds new light on the value of DTT for viewers, the UK television sector and wider economy. “With increasing demand for spectrum it is critical that DTT remains a strong proposition with the same coverage and range of channels viewers enjoy today,” he asserted.