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Wednesday 07 September, 2005


ITV and BBC to Launch Freesat

07 September 2005

                        ITV ANNOUNCES NEW DIGITAL MOVES

                          ITV & BBC TO LAUNCH FREESAT

ITV today announced a new service that will further strengthen its position in
the digital environment.

ITV and the BBC are working together to develop a new free digital satellite
service - project title 'Freesat' - to complement the hugely popular Freeview

Freesat will enable viewers to access subscription-free digital television via
satellite and will be aimed primarily at people in the UK currently unable to
access Freeview.

As part of the development of Freesat, ITV is also announcing that it intends to
start broadcasting ITV channels unencrypted - 'in the clear' - within the next
few months on digital satellite television. ITV has consulted all relevant
rights holders.

The free satellite service will initially carry all ITV and BBC free-to-view
digital services including digital television, digital radio, electronic
programme guide, and interactive services, in addition to dozens of other
free-to-air channels. The project aims to be operational within the first half
of 2006.

Charles Allen, Chief Executive of ITV said:

'As the UK's largest and most popular commercial broadcaster we want our
channels to be available to as many people as possible, regardless of
technological and geographical constraints. As we move from an analogue to a
digital environment, Freesat - and Freeview - will enable every family in the UK
to enjoy a wide range of quality channels for free.

'Today's announcement significantly strengthens ITV's digital presence and we
are delighted to be taking a leading role in the marketing and development of
free digital television.'

As ITV published strong financial results, the company also announced a new
mobile portal and broadband trial, developed by ITV's Consumer Division (ITVC)
to help grow consumer revenue outside free-to-air advertising.


ITV Mobile will work on all WAP enabled phones, giving it almost complete market
penetration. The first phase, launched today, will allow consumers to:

  • Get highlights or made-for-mobile footage from their favourite shows such
    as This Morning, Coronation Street, and I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!
  • Get the latest on ITV's soaps and dramas and keep up with showbiz news and
  • Get up to date news, sport and weather and sign up for alerts
  • Enter exclusive competitions to win fantastic prizes
  • Get the latest games, ringtones and wallpapers to customise their mobile
  • Plan their viewing with a complete TV guide on their mobile and never miss
    their favourite show with a TV reminder service.

The second phase, which is planned for January 2006, will contain services such
as unique video content. The mobile service will be backed by a widespread
consumer marketing campaign later this Autumn.


ITV is a trial broadband service due to commence in the next few weeks. It will
offer a local television interface for viewers in the Brighton and Hastings
areas. It will contain local news and weather, community activities, travel and
property advertising and ITV entertainment content. As a commercial service it
will also offer advertising for local businesses as well as local classified

Jeff Henry, Chief Executive of ITVC, said.

'These two initiatives demonstrate the strength of ITV at both a macro and micro
level. Twenty years ago the level of TV interaction with viewers was - 'send us
an answer on a postcard' - today we are able to capitalise on the technological
developments of digital television and other devices.

'Our new mobile portal and our broadband trials demonstrate that ITV has a clear
vision and strategy to deliver commercially focused applications to consumers.'

For more information please contact:

Jim Godfrey, ITV                              0207 261 8148 / 07876 396521

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange               XGGGUL