Arqiva has been awarded the contract to upgrade the SDN multiplex to a high power digital network. The contract is estimated to be worth some £500 million (€685m) over its 27-year term.
The SDN multiplex is owned by ITV plc and carries channels including Five, S4C and QVC alongside Top Up TV’s pay-TV service. It is expected that Five will leave the multiplex after digital switchover.
SDN is intending to continue to use the existing 81 key transmission sites, but the increase in power will enable coverage to be extended to 90% of the UK population once switchover has been completed.
Arqiva’s relationship with SDN goes back to 1998 when as NTL Broadcast it was a shareholder with United News and Media and S4C.
Arqiva is already the digital transmission supplier for the BBC’s two multiplexes and for the ITV-Channel 4 Digital 3 and 4 Ltd.