Following the transaction being cleared by the relevant authorities and regulators, Digital UK has acquired Freesat from its two shareholders, the BBC and ITV. First mooted in February 2021, the integration of Digital UK and Freesat is intended to help ensure viewers to continue to have access to a range of free-to-view TV services in the UK as well as benefit from technological innovations and developments across the two services.
The process of bringing together the operations of the two businesses will be implemented over the coming months. Jonathan Thompson, Digital UK’s current CEO, will lead the combined entity while current Freesat CEO Alistair Thom will be departing his role.
Commenting on the scope of his new role Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK, 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.”
For his part, 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.” Rapid TV News