BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have announced that they have brought together Digital UK Ltd, which facilitates the provision of Freeview, and Freesat (UK) Ltd, which offers access to the UK’s subscription-free satellite TV service.
Jonathan Thompson, Digital UK’s current CEO, will lead the combined entity. He has a proven track record in leading the evolution of free-to-view television in the UK and ensuring that it continues to deliver for viewers.
Meanwhile, Alistair Thom will be departing his role at CEO of Freesat.
Commenting on the development, Jonathan Thompson said: “I’m delighted to be heading up the new entity and am very much looking forward to leading the development of free-to-view TV in the UK over the coming years. Freeview and Freesat are both major success stories for the UK’s TV industry and wider society, enabling the public policy goals that underpin public service broadcasting, allowing access to high quality TV for free, for all”.
Alistair Thom added: “I depart with a real sense of achievement for the Freesat I leave behind. It was my absolute pleasure to lead the transformation of the business, putting it on the path of consistent revenue growth through becoming vertically integrated, developing a Direct to Consumer proposition and establishing relationships with the biggest global SVOD players and Consumer Electronics businesses. I’m excited about what Freesat can bring to Digital UK and everything that a joined up free-to-view platform ecosystem can deliver for UK consumers”.
Digital UK has acquired Freesat from its two shareholders, the BBC and ITV, following the transaction being cleared by the relevant authorities and regulators. The process of bringing together the operations of the two businesses will be implemented over the coming months.