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Freeview Connect could use Freesat’s Freetime catch-up service

Freetime, the catch-up service used by Freesat, could be used to power the upcoming Freeview Connect service. 

The smart catch-up service currently lets Freesat viewers scroll back in time on the programme guide and watch missed shows through catch-up services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD. 

Unlike other smart TV services which squirrel on-demand services away in a separate menu, Freetime puts catch-up content in the programme guide next to broadcast channels.  

Will Freesat's catch up service beam down on Freeview Connect  or will it go its own way?
Will Freesat’s catch up service beam down on Freeview Connect or will it go its own way?

Freeview Connect was announced earlier in the month and promises a YouView-esque experience, mixing broadcast channels with those delivered via the internet, as well as catch up services. 

According to a report in the Telegraph, the BBC and ITV are keen on seeing Freetime land on Freeview Connect. 

The service is already available on Panasonic’s 4K Ultra HD AX802 TV – which comes with both Freeview and Freesat tuners built in. Whether you connect the TV to aerial or a satellite dish, you’ll be able to use Freetime. 

Arqiva, the infrastructure company that owns a stake in Freeview, is reportedly less keen, as it’s not a shareholder in Freesat. 

An unnamed source said: “Freesat has done a great job with its technology and it is important we get a product on the market as soon as possible.” 

A spokesman for Arqiva added: “[Arqiva] firmly supports the Freeview Connected proposition and the decision on the technical solution will be made by Digital UK in due course.” 

Technical details for Freeview Connect are due to be published later this year

A Digital UK spokesperson added: “We are still in the early stages of developing the technical specification for a Freeview connected proposition. No decisions on potential technology or partners have been made.”

Freeview Connect is backed by broadcasters to the tune of £100 million over the next five years. Broadcasters have argued that using Freesat’s Freetime technology in the new terrestrial tech would be a better way of spending the cash.