Thank you for joining us at last week’s Outside the Box event, I hope you found it a useful and interesting morning.

We were honoured to have such a high calibre and varied line-up of speakers who all spoke so expertly and passionately about their respective areas. As the TV landscape in the UK changes apace, it was good to come together to debate but also celebrate, the future of broadcasting in the UK.

Freeview and Digital UK remain committed to providing high quality TV to everyone in the country, for free. Aggregating the nation’s favourite shows whilst delivering that content to viewers live and on-demand in a simple and accessible way. We aim to be a great partner for our content partners and manufacturers, without whom there would be no free TV.

So as we come to the end of the year, I’d like to thank everyone we work with to deliver great free TV to the nation and we look forward to continuing the dialogue in 2019 as well as seeing many of you at OTB19!

Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK



Outside the Box is Freeview and Digital UK’s annual TV conference designed for industry executives with an interest in the future of free-to-air television and the long-term health of British broadcasting.

Each year we bring together industry leaders to debate the challenges and opportunities for the sector with a focus on sustaining the UK’s position as a world-beating creative force.

With broadcaster and journalist Cathy Newman in the chair, Outside the Box 2018 was opened by Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Sharon White. Themes for the morning included the future for TV news; innovation in content creation, distribution and monetisation; PSB individual and collective responses to the rapidly changing landscape; and the role of broadcasting policy in securing a robust and sustainable sector.



Kamal Ahmed

Editorial Director, BBC

Andrea Catherwood

Broadcaster & Journalist

Tim Hincks

Co-CEO, Expectation Entertainment

Sarah Rose

Chief Consumer & Strategy Officer, Channel 4

Deborah Turness

President, NBC News International

Sam Barcroft

CEO, Barcroft Media

Damian Collins MP

Chair, DCMS Select Committee

Cathy Newman

Broadcaster & Journalist

Sam Rowden

Director of Programming, CBS Channels, AMC Networks International

Sharon White

Chief Executive, Ofcom

Magnus Brooke

Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs, ITV

Polly Curtis

Cairncross Review Advisory Panel Member

Steve North

General Manager, Comedy & Entertainment, UKTV

Meera Syal CBE

Comedian, Actress, Writer, Producer

Kate Bulkley

Media Commentator & Journalist

Cassian Harrison

Channel Editor, BBC Four

Simon Pitts


Jonathan Thompson

CEO, Digital UK


Freeview and Digital UK are the joint venture companies responsible for running and promoting the UK’s most widely used TV service.

Together the two organisations are focused on making Freeview the world’s leading free television service, committed to delivering a high quality, compelling, and flexible offering.

Freeview is responsible for consumer marketing and communications. Digital UK leads on product development which includes Freeview Play and the forthcoming Freeview mobile app, as well as day-to-day technical management of the platform. The company also has a strategy and policy remit looking at how to evolve free-to-air television so it continues delivering for all UK viewers.




08:45 - Registration and Coffee


09:15 - Opening Remarks

Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK


09:25 - Introduction from the Chair

Cathy Newman, Broadcaster & Journalist


09:35 - Keynote Speech: Riding the Waves of Change - How British TV can be Stronger Together

Sharon White, Chief Executive, Ofcom

Q&A with Cathy Newman

Read Sharon White’s speech here


10:00 - Panel: New Formats, New Platforms – Winning TV’s Makeover

Sam Barcroft, CEO, Barcroft Media

Sam Rowden, Director of Programming, CBS Channels, AMC Networks International

Steve North, General Manager, Comedy & Entertainment, UKTV

Tim Hincks, Co-CEO, Expectation Entertainment

Moderator: Kate Bulkley, Media Commentator & Journalist


10:45 - Coffee


11:15 - Panel: New News – TV Journalism’s Battle for Attention

Kamal Ahmed, Editorial Director, BBC News

Polly Curtis, Cairncross Review Advisory Panel member and former Editor in Chief, HuffPost UK

Deborah Turness, President, NBC News International

Damian Collins MP, Chair, DCMS Select Committee

Moderator: Andrea Catherwood, Broadcaster & Journalist 


12:00 - Panel: TV’s Beautiful Friendships – PSBs Collaborate to Compete

Sarah Rose, Chief Consumer & Strategy Officer, Channel 4

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four

Magnus Brooke, Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs, ITV

Simon Pitts, CEO, STV

Moderator: Cathy Newman


12:45 - Keynote Interview: Meera Syal CBE

Meera Syal CBE, Comedian, Writer, Actress, Producer, in conversation with Cathy Newman


13:15 - Closing remarks

Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK


13:20 - END