Emap to provide new music to BBC digital

The channel line-up for the BBC's digital platform Freeview is taking shape with Emap Performance winning the fight to provide a music channel.

Emap was battling with Viacom, the owner of MTV, to provide the music channel. It is also understood to be supplying three radio stations to the platform.

The new music channel is called The Hits and will be similar in style to Emap's existing six channels on cable and digital satellite, with revenue coming from callers paying to select music. Its music policy will mirror that of Emap's Big City Network in playing popular hits.

Freeview is set to launch later this month and will offer 24 free-to-air channels. Details of a new entertainment channel have yet to be released.

Disney has submitted a proposal to fill this slot while BSkyB is also working on a new entertainment channel that could potentially replace Sky Travel on Freeview. Channel 4 is also developing interactive services for the launch.

BBC and Crown Castle won the 12-year licence to provide a free-to-air digital terrestrial television service to replace ITV Digital. A content deal with Sky was struck which will see Sky provide Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky Travel.

Emap's current music television offering includes The Box, Smash Hits TV, Kerrang!, QTV and Magic.

Nobody at Emap was available to comment.

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