The marketing strategy underlying the new digital TV venture backed by the BBC, BSkyB and US transmission specialist Crown Castle is clearly inferred by its chosen branding – Freeview.

The digital terrestrial platform, which in July was awarded the three twelve-year licences formerly held by bankrupt ITV Digital [WAMN: 05-Jul-02], will be launched this autumn on a date yet to be unveiled. It will carry thirty-one channels – three more than originally announced.

Freeview will host all the present terrestrial services plus a range of additional channels including BBC Choice, ITV2, BBC4, News 24, Sky Sports News and two new platform-specific channels, UK History and Sky Travel. Two of the three extra services announced today will be devoted to general entertainment, the third to music.

Says Crown Castle president/md Peter Abery: “We believe we have a compelling range of channels with the broadest possible appeal to those seeking to extend their viewing choice.”

And although the new platform’s branding rams home the concept of ‘free’, the co-theme peddled to consumers will be that of a “fresh start”, according to Andy Duncan, director of marketing and communications at the BBC.

“Freeview will be a fresh start for many consumers … [it] will also make the BBC’s digital channels available to many more licence payers. And the name tells people exactly what's on offer - more TV channels free-to-view.”

Data sourced from: and BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff