Transmission firm Arqiva is standing down as a shareholder in both Digital UK, the company which leads the day-to-day management of the UK’s Digital Terrestrial TV platform, and DTV Services Ltd, the body which markets Freeview.
The move follows reports that the firm was uninterested in funding a new Freeview Play streaming service.
The change takes effect from March 2021 and will leave the BBC, ITV and C4 as shareholders in Digital UK. The trio described the shake-up as “an opportunity for greater collaboration in how viewers find and enjoy the best of public service programming in the connected world.”
Arqiva, which has been involved in Freeview since its launch, remains a multiplex operator and the sole transmission provider for the DTT platform.
Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Arqiva for all their support for Freeview over the years.
“They have been an important and valued partner to Digital UK, and without them Freeview would not have been the British success story it is today. We look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future to ensure the platform remains just as compelling for British viewers in the future.”
Shuja Khan, Chief Commercial Officer of Arqiva said: “Arqiva has been a member of Digital UK since it was founded in 2005 and we are proud of the role we have played in making Freeview such a successful platform, serving the needs of around 18m TV households on a daily basis.”
“Freeview’s delivery of free-to-air, universal and high-quality content must continue, with the emphasis on universal.
“While we have stepped down as shareholder, we believe in the platform’s future and will continue to deliver and invest in the infrastructure and related services required to provide a wide and growing range of services to our media customers.”