Broadcasting campaign group the Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) has repeated its call for Government backing for a free-to-air satellite service. In a letter to Broadcast magazine, VLV chairwoman Jocelyn Hay said more than 5m homes (27.5%) could not receive Freeview, and many would not be able to under digital switchover.
That left many viewers with the only option of turning to BSkyB's subscription service, or free satellite service costing £150 for installation and viewing card. Hay said Sky did "not guarantee the card will be replaced after its five year life, and many believe they will need to connect their phone line".
Hay called on the Government to work with Ofcom and ITV, Channel 4 and Five to enable the launch of "an independent free-to-air digital satellite service along the lines of Freeview".
In June the VLV published a policy paper which said a free-to-air satellite service would "facilitate the roll-out of digital transmission and therefore help to make digital switchover politically easier to achieve" and "remove the resentment many viewers currently feel because they are paying for the BBC's digital channels via their TV licence fee whether or not they can access them".
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