Broadcast 2040+ campaign gathers momentum | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Following record breaking Eurovision and coronation viewing figures, leading UK organisations have joined the Broadcast 2040+ campaign to pressure the UK government to safeguard digital terrestrial TV, Freeview, until at least 2040.
Broadcast now logo 18May2023
Bringing together a broad coalition of voices, the Broadcast 2040+ campaign has one key ask: that the UK Government provides a public commitment to safeguarding broadcast TV and radio until at least the 2040s. Under the Government’s current policy, these services, and the important public service broadcasting and other content they carry, are only guaranteed until the early 2030s.

The campaign believes that a lack of certainty about the long-term future of broadcast services is likely to have a detrimental impact on the millions of people who rely heavily on them. It adds that Freeview TV and broadcast radio are universally available and do not require a highspeed broadband connection or a monthly subscription cost, making these services well-suited to the needs of low-income households, senior citizens or those who live in the countryside.

Moreover, the campaign notes that the groups who rely on digital terrestrial TV and radio are among the most vulnerable in society including older people who may not have the digital skills to use streaming apps, those in rural areas who are less likely to have a superfast broadband connection, and those facing cost of living pressures who may struggle to afford monthly broadband or subscription costs.

The organisation showed that research from Ipsos has highlighted the significant negative impact of the potential loss of broadcast TV and radio, particularly for those who are vulnerable when disconnected from public information, news and entertainment.

Organisations from across the broadcast sector have signed up for Broadcast 2040+, including the Local TV Network (LTVN) which represents 34 local TV services, World DAB, the global industry forum for digital radio, and Together TV - the community-focused free-to-air channel.

New coalition partners include the Digital Poverty Alliance, an organisation committed to supporting those who live without, or with very minimal, access to the internet and the Campaign to End Loneliness, a network of organisations working to support lonely people reconnect with their community and the National Federation of the Blind of the UK.

Putting the campaign into perspective, the campaign said that the huge numbers who watched the Eurovision Song Contest and the coronation of King Charles demonstrated the vital importance of broadcast services to people up and down the country. The Broadcast 2040+ campaign believes these figures also show clearly the continued role terrestrial TV and radio play in uniting the nation through shared live viewing and listening – which is something that must be safeguarded.

“Millions of people across the UK still love watching traditional telly. Many of these 15 million-plus nightly viewers are older, less connected and more isolated. Telly is a lifeline to them – a window into the world, a companion and a way to feel a sense of shared experience and belonging,” said Together TV chief executive Alexander Kann.

“At Together TV we are very committed about supporting these overlooked and underserved audiences, through entertaining programmes and also ways to spark new interests and help our viewers do something good in their lives. We support the aims of this vital Broadcast 2040+ campaign and will continue advocating to keep traditional TV going many years into the future, for as long as audiences want it.”

“The Local TV Network is delighted to be a member of the Broadcast 2040+ campaign. We welcome the opportunity to stand with likeminded partner organisations and demonstrate to government that broadcast services are an essential part of the UK’s media ecosystem, and something we should all be looking to preserve for years to come,” added David Powell, Chair of the Local Television Network.

“The Local TV Network is proud to ensure that the communities which value our terrestrial local television services can feel connected to the world around them, especially as more and more of the UK struggles to afford streaming services. To neglect broadcast, when it is arguably needed now more than ever, would be a missed opportunity.”