Five buys stake in Top Up TV

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Five has bought a stake in Top Up TV, the pay TV service that operates an eleven-channel service on the DTT platform.

Although the exact level of the "strategic investment" has not been disclosed, Five owners RTL said in a statement that the agreement would "enable both parties to explore and develop a number of free and pay services on Freeview and other platforms".

Five is expected to use some of Top Up's allocated DTT bandwidth to launch its upcoming spinoff channel early in 2006 and is "confident" that the relationship will help it launch even more FTA services over the next year.

"We have an excellent relationship with Five and extending it in this way is a natural next step for our continued growth," said David Chance, chairman of Top Up TV.

Five chief executive Jane Lighting added: "I am delighted that we are building on our relationship with Top Up TV which we believe will be beneficial to both parties and to the Freeview platform. We will announce more details in the New Year."
 
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