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Isle of Man Government team review options to mitigate against the loss of ITV4 TT coverage for Freeview customers 30 September 2009

A group comprising representatives of the Isle of Man Government’s Communications Commission, the Department of Tourism and Leisure and North One TV are reviewing the options to mitigate against the loss of the ITV4 TT television coverage for Freeview customers following changes to the UK digital terrestrial platform.

An unwelcome side effect of the network changes is that Freeview customers on the Island and in parts of the UK, not served by a main transmitter, (estimated to be 10% of the UK population) will not be able to receive ITV3 and ITV4. Over 80% of Island residents who watch TV on Sky or Freesat, from off-Island main transmitters, or over the internet will still be able to watch ITV3 and ITV4.

The much-publicised upgrade will ensure that coverage of ‘Five’ will improve and be accessible for many across the UK for the first time. The technical upgrade is also in preparation for the commencement of high definition broadcasts. High definition services from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will roll out across the UK on Freeview. It has not been confirmed when High Definition via Freeview will be available from Isle of Man transmitters or when Five will launch its high definition service. All four high definition channels should be available across the UK by the time digital switchover is due to be completed in 2012.

Dr Carmel McLaughlin, the Director of the Communications Commission for the Isle of Man Government, said:

“The decision to upgrade the network was made by the UK Government in conjunction with Ofcom and the broadcasters to ensure that Five is available to everyone via Digital Terrestrial Television and to make room for the launch of high definition.”

Summarising the effects on the Island’s residents, Dr McLaughlin continued:

“It is regrettable that these changes will result in Isle of Man’s residents who currently receive Freeview from on-Island transmitters not being able to watch ITV3 and ITV4. This will also impact on the 10% of the UK population who cannot receive digital TV from a main UK transmitter. This is particularly relevant to the Isle of Man as the TT races are mainly shown on ITV4. The UK decisions which led to this situation were out of our hands. The Commission was not informed that ITV3 and ITV4 would be unavailable on Island transmitters until Freeview announced the details of the “National Retune”. The Commission has raised its concerns with ITV and UK authorities and is now working with the DTL and North One to look at ways to mitigate the loss of TT coverage both on and off island on ITV4.”

For viewer information on retuning contact:

TV Retune Helpline on 08456 05 11 22 or

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