The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 have joined forces to launch a new free TV service that will deliver live TV over broadband.
Freely aims to enable British viewers to easily browse and watch live TV channels together with on demand content streamed straight to their smart TV via the internet.
The service will be built into the next generation of smart TVs and feature a line-up of public service broadcaster content and other free-to-air channels. It will replicate the terrestrial TV experience, building on the heritage and popularity of the Freeview TV platform, said the broadcasters.
Freely, which is due to launch in 2024, is being developed by Everyone TV (formerly Digital UK), the organisation which runs free TV in the UK and is jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Jonathan Thompson, Everyone TV chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be working with the public service broadcasters on the next phase of free TV’s evolution. This new development is a reflection of the fact that a growing number of UK viewers are watching content online, but still want easy access to the shared experience of live TV.
“Our aim is to ensure that all viewers have access to a free, aggregated live TV experience that champions British content and is delivered in a way that suits audience needs and preferences. Every one of us should be able to share in the best of British ideas and creativity on TV.”