The UK's second largest commercial broadcaster Channel 4 is to take a stake in the increasingly popular Freeview free-to-air digital TV platform.

C4 joins the three-strong consortium currently funding the platform - technology provider Crown Castle, satellite TV giant BSkyB and the BBC.

The move will allow Channel 4 greater say in how the service and its own digital offerings are marketed to the public. Freeview, in turn, will benefit from increased cross-promotion on C4's terrestrial channels.

Freeview, available via a set-top box for a single payment of around £35 ($63; €51), is currently installed in more than five million British homes, a total expected to exceed 10m by 2010 [WAMN: 19 Sept-05].

ITV, arguably the greatest beneficiary of Freeview's runaway success, is conspicuous by its absence from the platform's consortium of backers.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff