Freeview parent company Digital UK, which was a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and transmitter operator Arqiva – until the latter left the project last year, has now confirmed that it acquired Freesat on July 8, 2021. Freesat had two shareholders, BBC and ITV, which meant the merger had to be cleared by the relevant authorities and regulators.
For those who don’t know, Freesat offers access to a number of the same channels as Freeview, but relies on a satellite dish to connect viewers to their favourite shows. So, if you’ve decided to leave Sky Q, but still have a dish strapped to your roof and don’t fancy a weekend of DIY – you can plug in a Freesat compatible set-top box to access free-to-air channels using your existing receiver. That’s a different approach to Freeview, which leverages your aerial.
There are a few advantages to Freesat over Freeview, most notably, that the service uses the additional capacity afforded when broadcasting via satellite to offer a selection of 24 high-definition channels, including those from BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Discovery Networks, France 24, Paramount Network, Bloomberg, RT UK and TRT World.