Heart joins digital Freeview platform
LONDON - Commercial radio station Heart FM is set to increase its national coverage next week following a deal to join the digital Freeview platform.
Chrysalis-owned Heart has secured a spot on ITV's Freeview multiplex to sit alongside the BBC, Virgin and rival Magic. It will be launched in the channel 728 slot on December 18.
The move extends Heart's reach into 6.4m homes and, according to the station, makes it the first regionalised radio channel to sign up to Freeview.
Barnaby Dawe, managing director of Heart, said: "An increasing number of people are listening to radio via their TVs and moving onto Freeview meets with our objective of making Heart as available as possible."
Listeners will be able to tune into one of Heart's three dedicated local stations serving London, West Midlands and East Midlands via their Freeview set-top boxes.
Heart currently has 3.1m listeners and is the largest independent local radio brand in the UK.
Last year ITV bought multiplex A, one of the six digital terrestrial television frequency clusters powering the Freeview platform, for £136m. Multiplex A carries 20 channels owned by Five, Turner, Disney and Emap.
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