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BBC, ITV and Channel 4 agree £125 million Freeview deal

Five year deal will see Freeview develop new services as it aims to combat rise of Netflix and Amazon

Freeview has secured £125 million in funding from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva to help it develop into a fully hybrid platform.

Freeview said the new investment will help it exploit the trend towards ‘cord cutting’ as viewers build their own ‘skinny bundles’ combining free-to-view TV with low-cost streaming services.

Key areas of development will include:

  • A new mobile app enabling viewers to access live and on-demand content on a range of smartphones and tablets, launching later this year
  • Restart functionality allowing viewers switching on mid-way through a programme to watch from the start using catch-up links built into the Freeview Play TV guide
  • Improved navigation through voice search, and further evolution of the Freeview Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) on televisions

Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK, which runs Freeview, said: “As the UK’s TV landscape becomes increasingly impacted by global players, this new commitment from our shareholders is a major boost for UK viewers. Building on this spirit of collaboration, we will not only safeguard free-to-view TV but reinvent it for a new age of viewing.”