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Freeview plans own connected TV service to spite YouView

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Freeview has announced its plans to launch its own connected TV platform providing broadcast and on-demand TV for free.

The service will be developed as a joint venture by Freeview and Digital UK, but the eventual connected TV service will be Freeview branded.

Although an actual brand name and launch times for the service has yet to be confirmed, the aim is to let manfuacturers launch a new range of connected Freeview HD TVs and set top boxes.

These will allow people to access the service via their existing TV aerials and broadband provider without having to be tied to a new contract.

This is an obvious attempt to go against YouView and its set top boxes, which are mostly offered through broadband and TV packages with BT and TalkTalk.

“Digital terrestrial television is a great success story of British broadcasting and plays a vital role in the overall health of our TV sector,” said Jonathan Thompson, Chief Executive of Digital UK. “This announcement marks a critical step in the next stage of the platform’s development, ensuring that it will remain as relevant, important and valued by viewers in the future as it is today.”

The Freeview connected TV platform will combine broadcast with on-demand content, which will be provided through popular catch-up TV apps.

“Freeview is at the heart of the nation’s viewing and I’m proud to be leading the company into the next chapter of its history,” said Guy North, MD of Freeview. “People know and love the Freeview brand and will trust us to help them enjoy watching catch-up and on-demand TV in the future, alongside the high quality.”

The potential convenience of the planned connected TV platform is that Freeview is already widely supported by content providers including the BBC.

TV manufacturers may therefore be very willing to incorporate the Freeview connected TV platform into their sets as standard in the future.

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