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Wednesday 12 October, 2005



12 October 2005


London, 12 October 2005: DTV Services Limited (DTVSL), the consortium which owns
and markets Freeview, the fast-growing free digital terrestrial TV service,
today announced it has two new shareholders: ITV and Channel 4. As of October
11, ITV and Channel 4 are equal shareholders in the DTVSL consortium, each
taking a 20% stake alongside the three founding shareholders: BBC, BSkyB and
National Grid Wireless (formerly Crown Castle UK).

Set up three years ago in October 2002 to promote the package of free-to-air
digital terrestrial channels on the UK's DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television)
platform, the consortium has ensured that the successful Freeview service is now
in over 5m homes. ITV and Channel 4's financial contributions towards the
marketing of Freeview will be in line with those of the other shareholders.

Peter Abery, Chairman of Freeview commented: 'We're delighted to welcome ITV and
Channel 4 to the consortium at a time when the Freeview service continues to go
from strength to strength.  ITV and Channel 4's involvement, both from a
strategic and financial point of view, will further enable us to raise awareness
of the Freeview service as we continue to drive digital terrestrial take-up in
the UK. With the addition of more channels, including ITV4, More4 and Sky3 soon
to be joining Freeview, the service offers an exciting channel line up for
consumers looking to get digital TV.'

Andy Duncan, Chief Executive of Channel 4, said: 'Freeview has transformed the
television industry since its launch 3 years ago. Building a powerful
multi-channel presence is central to Channel 4's future strategy and developing
a strong position on Freeview is a crucial part of this ambition. E4 has more
than doubled its share of the multi-channel TV audience year-on-year this autumn
following its launch on Freeview and our new adult entertainment channel, More
4, will also attract a significant percentage of its viewing from Freeview homes
following its launch on Monday. We believe that Channel 4 and its sister
services play a key role in helping drive take-up of Freeview and it's logical
that we should now take a more formal role in the running and marketing of the

Charles Allen, Chief Executive of ITV plc said: 'The rapid growth of the DTT
platform and the success of Freeview offer a great opportunity for ITV as a
content provider, channel owner and multiplex licence holder. There are very
real benefits for ITV in growing and developing Freeview, and the most effective
way for us to do that is to be at the heart of the marketing effort. ITV's
channels have already played an important role in driving the take up of
Freeview - ITV2 and ITV3 are now the two most watched digital channels in
Freeview homes, and ITV3 was the most successful launch in multi-channel
history. ITV4 and our new children's channel will also be added to the Freeview
offering in the coming months. Becoming a shareholder means we can play an even
stronger part in driving the growth of Freeview.'

About Freeview

Freeview, the free-to-air digital terrestrial television service on the UK
digital terrestrial (DTT) platform, is a simple way to get digital television.
Freeview's objective is to promote the benefits of free-to-view digital
terrestrial TV and increase its penetration in the UK - by offering a compelling
package of free-to-air digital TV content with no contract.

The service offers around 30 channels of free digital television, interactivity
and text, as well as over 20 free digital radio stations - all delivered to
existing TVs in Freeview coverage areas through a rooftop aerial. Freeview's TV
channel package features a mixture of programme genres, from entertainment and
travel, through to children's TV, documentaries, music and 24-hour news.

The Freeview brand is owned and marketed by DTV Services Limited (a joint
venture now between the BBC, National Grid Wireless (formerly Crown Castle UK),
BSkyB, ITV and Channel 4).  It is estimated that over 5 million homes now own a
digital terrestrial box (figures from the end of June 2005), and Freeview is one
of the fastest growing consumer products ever to launch in the UK.

For further information about Freeview, please contact:

Emma Hutchinson, Lee Nugent or Nick Clark

Nelson Bostock Communications

020 7229 4400

[email protected]

For further information about Channel 4, please contact:

Matt Baker

020 7306 3636

[email protected]

For further information about ITV, please contact:

Brigitte Trafford

020 7737 8719

[email protected]

Jim Godfrey

020 7261 8148

[email protected]

James Tibbitts

020 7261 3867

[email protected]

                      This information is provided by RNS
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