New streaming service Freely, backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, will launch in the second quarter of 2024.
The service has been developed by Everyone TV, the organisation which runs the UK’s free-to-view TV platforms – Freeview and Freesat. It is jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, C4 and C5.
Freely will allow viewers to browse and watch live TV channels together with on demand content on their smart TV via the internet.
Everyone TV is also working with UKTV to bring the broadcaster’s portfolio of free channels to Freely, via broadband.
Everyone TV has also revealed a first look at the user-interface (UI) and features of Freely.
For the first time on a free service, viewers will be able to switch between live and on demand TV from the leading UK broadcasters, and use features such as pause, restart and access to more episodes, without having to pay. Freely TVs can also be placed anywhere in the home where there is a Wi-Fi connection, removing the need for a dish or aerial.
Key Freely features include: MiniGuide, a pop-up interface that appears each time users switch channels, enabling them to discover related live or on demand content;
Browse, which allows viewers to explore recommended live and on demand programming from UK broadcasters and free-to-air channels, all in one place; and TV Guide, a 7-day listings guide.
Sarah Milton and Carl Pfeiffer, Joint Chief Product Officers, Everyone TV said: “It’s clear the way people are watching TV is changing, with more audiences switching over to a broadband only connection. We’ve built Freely around the needs of British audiences, bringing them the freedom to choose how they want to watch, with all their favourite shows from the UK’s leading broadcasters all in one place for free. We’re really proud of what we’re launching with Freely and are excited about bringing major enhancements like the MiniGuide to viewers as Freely launches in Q2 this year.”