Google has signed its first deal to bring YouTube to a UK free-to-air TV platform, with the massively popular video sharing website (and all its cat videos) due to land on satellite service Freesat shortly.
The version of YouTube that will be launched is built on HTML 5 and will be its very latest iteration offering a TV-optimised, “visually stunning and fully interactive” viewing experience, according to Freesat.
The free-to-air satellite platform launched in 2007 and now counts 3mn devices installed in UK homes, with 55,000 new households added in the third quarter of 2012 alone – more than Sky TV and BT Vision combined.
Freesat launched the second generation of its service late last year, called <free time> and offering many of the same capabilities as the much-vaunted ‘YouView’ project, including tight integration of linear and on-demand programming, a backwards-looking EPG, and curated recommendations.
Emma Scott, Freesat’s Managing Director said: “In just four years we have established ourselves as a real challenger and genuine alternative to pay-TV. In that time we’ve delivered choice and quality, subscription free.
“We’re now delighted to add to our already fantastic customer offering with YouTube. They join Freesat at a time of rapid growth for our business and will offer our viewers an exclusive, first view of their latest version – previously unseen on free to air TV in the UK.”