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Freeview and other terrestrial TV services are worth nearly £80 billion to the UK economy, a new report has claimed.

Digital UK's report, entitled 'The value of Digital Terrestrial Television in an era of increasing demand for spectrum', claims there are major economic benefits to the provision of free-to-air TV.

channels freeview

The report has been designed to challenge the view that mobile broadband delivers more value from airwaves than digital terrestrial television (DTT).

Digital UK says "crucial decisions" about the future of free-to-air TV will be made by policy makers in the UK and Europe in 2014.

It says that, just over a year after the digital switchover freed up capacity for 4G mobile broadband, a further shake-up of the airwaves is being considered.

This could see additional spectrum released for the mobile market, at the expense of terrestrial TV, Digital UK has warned.

The organisation - which is owned by BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva - claims DTT delivers more value per unit of spectrum than mobile broadband.

Not only this, but it supports 15,000 jobs in broadcasting and independent production.

As such, Digital UK claimed DTT offers significant economic and social value to the UK economy.

Jonathan Thompson, Chief Executive of Digital UK, said the report "sheds new light on the value of DTT for viewers, the UK television sector and wider economy".

"With increasing demand for spectrum it is critical that DTT remains a strong proposition with the same coverage and range of channels viewers enjoy today," he claimed.

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