Freeview and Digital UK today announced plans to develop a new Freeview-branded connected TV service with the intention of making “the best of broadcast and on-demand TV available free for everyone.” The two companies’ shareholders including the UK’s leading broadcasters are backing a five-year plan to support the development and marketing of a connected TV proposition.
The new offer will give viewers easy access to both broadcast and on-demand TV, including a range of popular catch-up players.
Ilse Howling, previously Managing Director of Freeview, has been appointed to the role of Managing Director, Connected TV at Digital UK and will lead a new dedicated team to develop the product specification for the new service working in close co-operation with manufacturers and industry bodies and based on open standards.
Freeview’s former Marketing Communications Director, Guy North, has taken over the role as Managing Director of Freeview and will lead the team responsible for TV advertising and marketing campaigns for the Freeview brand and product portfolio.
The aim will be for manufacturers to launch a new range of connected Freeview HD televisions and boxes which consumers will be able to buy in store. People will be able to watch the service via their TV aerial and current broadband provider without being tied to a contract.
Details on launch timing and a brand name for the new service are to be confirmed.
“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,” says Guy North, Managing Director, 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 channels that Freeview already offers.”
The companies’ shareholders confirmed their investment in a joint statement: “We are delighted to be supporting the Freeview platform to develop and market a Freeview branded connected TV service which will bring catch-up television to a mass market and give viewers even more choice in how they access TV programmes.”