A new free streaming service called Freely, backed by major UK broadcasters BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, is set to launch in the second quarter of 2024.
Freely aims to "futureproof free TV for the streaming age" by offering live and on-demand content from all four partner channels in one place, accessible via broadband connection. This comes in response to research suggesting over half of UK homes will watch TV exclusively over broadband by 2030.
Key features unveiled this month include:
- MiniGuide: A pop-up interface facilitating seamless switching between live and on-demand content, with functionalities like pause, restart, and access to additional episodes.
- Browse: Explore recommended live and on-demand programming from all partner broadcasters via the "Freely button" on compatible remotes.
- TV Guide: A familiar 7-day guide accessible through the "Guide" button, offering relevant information and discovery options linked to live content.
Vestel, a major TV manufacturer, becomes the first official smart TV partner, offering Freely built-in on new sets. UKTV, with channels like Dave, Drama, Yesterday, and W, also joins the platform through broadband access.
Further details, including additional smart TV and content partners, will be announced in the coming weeks.