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Freeview Play announced: Connected TV platform plays catch-up with YouView

Freeview has announced the name of its next-gen connected TV service: Freeview Play. 

The platform formerly known as Freeview Connect will offer customers the ability to browse through the typical digital terrestrial TV programme guide and jump straight to catch-up content from BBC iPlayer, 4oD and ITV Player from the same page. 

As well as scrolling back in time from the main guide page, viewers will also be able to launch individual catch-up apps from a separate menu. 

Guy North, Freeview managing director, said: “Freeview has been built on a vision to make television available to all free from subscription. In the same way that we took the UK from analogue to digital, Freeview Play is the next step in that vision and it will put the viewer in control, without complexity, commitment or unnecessary cost – we want to keep television fair and open for everyone. That means giving consumers the freedom to choose the TV they want, the way they want it.”
 
No solid launch date has been announced, but Freeview says that Play will be live ‘later this year,’ and has unveiled a new logo. 

Freeview Play will essentially be taking on YouView, a rival TV platform that already blends linear digital terrestrial TV (DTT) with catch-up content.

As well as offering viewers a bigger suite of catch up TV services – YouView includes UKTV Play (Dave, Really, Yesterday), Demand 5 and Quest – Netflix subscribers can also tap into their favourite shows through YouView boxes

Keith Underwood, chairman of Freeview added: “Freeview’s new identity and positioning signifies an important moment in Freeview’s history. The Freeview shareholders – Arqiva, BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky – are fully committed to supporting Freeview’s journey to bring connected television to millions of homes in the UK.”

The BBC along with Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5, Arqiva, BT and TalkTalk make up YouView’s shareholder board

Both BT and TalkTalk’s TV services are based on YouView, letting customers take a mixture of extra channels  like BT Sport, MTV, Sky Movies and others alongside regular terrestrial TV. 

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