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    BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview

    This is a discussion on BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview - Telegraph Broadcasters get behind existing internet technology developed by Freesat ...

    1. #1
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      BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview

      BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview - Telegraph
      Broadcasters get behind existing internet technology developed by Freesat as they fear losing audience share amid a growing pay-TV market

      The BBC and ITV are at loggerheads with Arqiva, the company that runs Britain’s terrestrial TV masts, over plans for an internet-connected television standard meant as the successor to Freeview.

      It is understood the broadcasters want the ‘Freeview Connect’ project to adopt technology developed by Freesat, the free satellite television service, rather than go back to the drawing board and risk losing audience share as viewers turn to on-demand services from pay-TV operators. Freeview Connect was announced this month by Digital UK, a consortium comprising the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva.

      However, sources said Arqiva is resisting the plan because it is not a shareholder in Freesat and could lose influence over the future of broadcasting technology if it goes ahead.

      The Digital UK board is due to decide on the issue within weeks.

      Freeview Connect is seen as vital to the future of free-to-air television because Freeview households watch the main terrestrial channels more than those with a BSkyB, Virgin Media, BT or TalkTalk subscription. In the past year BT and TalkTalk have added more than a million pay-TV households between them, the majority former Freeview households attracted by on-demand features.


      For ITV and Channel 4 the growth of pay-TV via the internet is a threat to advertising revenues. For the BBC anything that erodes audience share raises questions over the licence fee.

      A source close to the broadcasters said: “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel again. Freesat has done a great job with its technology and it is important we get a product on the market as soon as possible.”

      The shareholders of Digital UK have agreed to back Freeview Connect with more than £100m over five years, which it is understood the broadcasters argue would be better spent promoting Freesat’s technology than developing a new system from scratch.

      The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are all understood to be keen to enter the market as soon as possible after YouView, their previous attempt to safeguard their share of audiences in the digital age, became a de facto broadband pay-TV service for BT and TalkTalk, who were partners in the project. The broadcasters have radically reduced their funding of YouView and diverted it to Freeview Connect.

      Freesat’s technology is called Freetime and it allows viewers to catch up with the last seven days of programming on 26 channels, on demand via an internet-connected set-top box in around 750,000 households.

      The software is also being built into new televisions by Panasonic. It is envisaged that if Freetime is adopted as the Freeview Connect standard, rival manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony will quickly follow suit.

      A spokesman for Arqiva said: “Arqiva firmly supports the Freeview Connected proposition and the decision on the technical solution will be made by Digital UK in due course.”

      Arqiva is owned by a consortium of seven investment funds, led by the Canadian Pension Plan and Macquarie’s European Infrastructure Fund 2.


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      Re: BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview

      BBC and ITV/C4 effectively put BT and TT in a strong PayTV position by developing a new EPG called YouView which is itself in the position of now finding even its name is illegal. The cost was over £100m and took years to develop by which time Sky et al had moved the goal posts. This time BBC and ITV want to develop another closed system (that will keep out PayTV companies). Rather than using well established existing global technology the UK DTT broadcasters want to invent yet another system demanding another STB or even a new TV to receive it. Thank goodness one of the Freeview partners is resisting the waste of yet more public money by the Beeb who clearly show they haven't a clue about the real world and seem to view their BBC Tax income as something they can squander time after time.
      jrfer and Scubbie like this.

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      Re: BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview

      The dominance of Sky and the new competition from BT and TalkTalk, on the back of YouView (soon to be renamed) is what is hurting the BBC, ITV, Ch4 and Ch 5.

      Currently there appears to be a huge resentment that I suspect may well win against the TV License fee.

      As the report above points out, those with Pay TV tend to watch the standard terrestrial channels less. Of course this could be because of top series such as Game of Thrones, Blue Bloods and many more, but it could also be down to the HD content.

      Sure NI, Wales & Scotland now have BBC1 HD showing local content, but the BBC is years behind everyone else and ITV still shows me the wrong local news in HD. Am I some form of second class citizen just because I live in Hampshire, not Kent?

      It'll be messy and difficult to properly manage, but I do believe that the BBC should now drop the License fee and either move to advertising or subscription or both.
      jrfer and TNT555 like this.

      PlusNet Fibre since Jan 2021
      Previously Sky Fibre & Sky BB since 2010.

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      Re: BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview

      Quote Originally Posted by dms05 View Post
      This time BBC and ITV want to develop another closed system (that will keep out PayTV companies).
      But that's not what the article says.

      It states the BBC and ITV want to use the Fressat developed "Freetime" system that is already available and working well and most importantly is built in HTML5 which means it can be used anywhere, including adding in Pay TV portals easily (Freesat already has Curzon Home Cinema).

      Ironically, the platform that isn't built to well known international standards is YouView!
      Last edited by stereohaven; 19-06-14 at 04:55 PM.

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      Re: BBC and ITV battle Arqiva on future of Freeview

      The problem is UK Media Co's won't accept that the rest of the world knows what it's doing and rather than going with the flow insists on inventing new (actually just different) ways of doing the same thing. YouView was a prime example of UK Media Co's not accepting what everyone in the world did know what they were doing and so developed yet another insular UK way of doing things. In the far distant past when radio and TV was new and had no real international market then the Beeb did invent major developments but that function was taken over years ago by the Japanese and latterly Chinese manufacturers. So we have a unique version of DAB whilst the rest of the world has gone for DAB+ and guess what the UK version isn't backwards compatible with the international version, before that the Beeb decided on a different version of PAL for our TV's so outside of Hong Kong and the UK ours didn't work anywhere.

      If the Beeb wasn't insulated by a guaranteed multi-billion £ income they wouldn't be able to be so cavalier with public money. That's why we should ditch the License Fee and the BBC should become proper PayTV, it already is PayTV and until recently had criminal convictions to backup collection. Time to allow those who want PSB to pay for the bits they want and not subsidise massive excessive senior management positions and massive senior management salaries whose main purpose is to waste massive amounts of money reinventing the wheel.

     

     

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