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Streaming service Freely launches

Streaming

Streaming service Freely launches

Freely, the new streaming service from Everyone TV, has officially launched.

Backed by BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, Freely is available through the next generation of smart TVs now on sale in stores and online.

Kieran Clifton, Director, BBC Distribution & Business Development, said:

“The launch of Freely is a historic moment for UK television. Collaboration between the UK PSBs is critical to connecting and protecting all audiences as we transition towards the streaming era – and delivering live TV over broadband for free is a ground-breaking innovation that will futureproof public service broadcasting.”

Freely TVs can also be placed anywhere in the home where there’s a Wi-Fi connection, removing the need for a dish or aerial.

For the first time for free, viewers will be able to switch seamlessly between live and on demand TV from leading UK broadcasters, taking advantage of features such as pause, restart and access to more episodes, without having to pay for the service.

Martin Goswami, ITV Group Strategic Partnerships and Distribution Director, said:

“The success and impact of programmes like ITV’s Mr Bates vs the Post Office shows the importance of UK PSBs and ITV is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter for free TV in this country with Freely. Bringing live streamed channels and on demand content together in Freely gives viewers the opportunity to access the very best in British content as easily as possible, from live and recent programmes to a wealth of on-demand options.”

The new service marks the first time all of the UK’s PSBs have come together to launch a streaming proposition, signalling the beginning of a journey to secure the future of free TV through collaboration.

During the late 2000s, the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 joined forces on a video-on-demand platform named ‘Kangaroo’, however, the project was discontinued in 2009 following objections from the Competition Commission.

STV and S4C will also be bringing their channels and on demand content to Freely, via broadband.

Grace Boswood, Technology & Distribution Director, Channel 4, said: “Freely will deliver the best of Britain’s world-leading public service content seamlessly and for free. It further supports Channel 4’s Fast Forward strategy as we accelerate our transformation into the streaming age, ensuring our trusted, brand-safe content is available to everyone.”

James Tatam, SVP Business & Revenue for Channel 5, said: “We’re delighted to be part of Freely, which will ensure UK audiences can continue to easily discover and enjoy original, high quality British programmes from Channel 5 and the other public service broadcasters – live and on-demand, for free.”

Hisense will be bringing Freely TVs to market today in retailers such as Currys, Argos, AO and Very. It has also been announced that TiVo, a subsidiary of Xperi Inc., will be offering Freely as part of its TiVo OS platform. Initially Freely will be available via Vestel smart TVs Powered by TiVo.

More details around Freely will be announced in the coming weeks, including additional smart TV, operating system and content partners.

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