UK broadcast services firm Arqiva has purchased Connect TV, a provider of over-the-top (OTT) services on the country’s hugely successful DTT service ‘Freeview’, for an undisclosed amount.
The Connect TV platform enables broadcasters and content owners to use the internet to cost-effectively deliver their channels and services to UK viewers with a Freeview HD receiver (which currently number about 10mn).
Existing Freeview broadcasters can enhance their services through the addition of complementary services and content accessed via the red button, a unique or a shared channel number. As well as offering a greater choice of free content, the Connect TV platform can also allow viewers to access subscription services or purchase goods.
The Connect TV initiative was launched last February with an initial lineup of 45 Internet-delivered channels, including a mix of sports, foreign language and news channels from Racing UK, Sports Tonight Live, CCTV and French, Greek, Polish and Turkish programming from the Vision TV Network, with more than ten new services slated to launch by the autumn.
A recent report from Futuresource Consulting predicted that nearly every home in the UK will be able to access Internet-delivered content on Freeview-branded DTT devices by the end of 2014, as the penetration of Freeview HD boxes more than doubles to reach 24.2mn by 2014, and go on to reach 39.8mn by 2015.