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Talking Pictures secures Freeview future

Freeview capacity holder Arqiva has signed a medium-term carriage deal with Talking Pictures TV, keeping the service on Freeview.

The vintage film channel, will as a result, remain available to digital terrestrial TV households for at least four years.

The carriage renewal marks the latest milestone in a long-standing relationship between the two companies. In November of last year, Talking Pictures TV expanded its audience reach to 19 million UK homes by moving to one of Arqiva’s standard definition (SD) Freeview multiplexes, as it looked to capitalise on the growing demand for its vintage content. The family-run channel will also mark its third anniversary on the Freeview platform in September, after first launching via Arqiva’s COM7 (DVB-T2) multiplex in September 2015.

Mike Finchen, Director, Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) at Arqiva, said:
"The extended contract with Talking Pictures TV is further proof – as if it was needed – of the continuing strength and popularity of the DTT platform in the UK. Relied upon for its high-quality, robust viewing experiences, Freeview also gives channels, such as Talking Pictures TV, the chance to engage and expand their footprint with a broader set of viewers yet to discover their services.”

Sarah Cronin-Stanley, Director of Talking Pictures TV, added:
"Talking Pictures TV is the only broadcaster to offer TV viewers the opportunity to watch nostalgic films and entertainment of this genre for free, on Freeview. Since Arqiva helped us launch on the platform three years ago, its professional and reliable services have been critical as we expanded our range of content and rapidly scaled our audience. We really had no hesitation in extending our partnership with them, and look forward to continuing to entertain audiences on the Freeview platform for many years to come.”

Beyond 2022, when this carriage agreement ends, it's expected that there will have to be further changes to Freeview when temporary capacity available to Arqiva is claimed for 5G mobile services  and services will need to switch more widely to the newer DVB-T2 broadcast standard, already used by a number of Freeview services, including BBC One HD and Film4+1, in order to continue to accommodate the same number of channels going forward. As a result many current Freeview carriage contracts will need to be amended beyond 2022.