The BBC trust has given its provisional approval to the launch of the ‘Freesat’ digital satellite platform. It is envisaged that the project would be jointly operated with ITV and Channel 4, both of which are now partners in the Freeview DTT platform.
BSkyB already operates a subscription free satellite platform under the freesatfromsky brand that charges viewers a one-off installation fee of £150. It is likely that the BBC version would use the MHEG-5 middleware already adopted by the Freeview platform rather than the proprietary Open TV. The actual channel line-up is likely to mirror the 120 channels that broadcast in-the-clear on the Sky platform.
The Trust has now opened a 28-day public consultation period ahead of a final decision in April 2007. (JC)