Britain's biggest public service broadcasters are developing a new free TV service that will deliver live TV over broadband.


The new service, called Freely, is set for launch in 2024 and it 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.

Freely is being developed by Everyone TV, the organisation which runs free TV in the UK and is jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Everyone TV, formerly known as Digital UK, is responsible for the day-to-day running of the UK's free-to-view TV platforms - Freeview and Freest - as well as leading free TV's evolution for a streaming age.

The new TV service will replicate the terrestrial TV experience, building on the heritage and popularity of the Freeview TV platform, which is currently used in 16 million homes.

Viewers will be able to browse channels through a modern programme guide and use innovative functionality designed to make it easier to find and explore new shows directly from live TV.

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."

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Tim Davie, Director General of the BBC, said: "Ensuring the universality of public-service television is sustained into the future is of paramount importance to the UK and all its public service broadcasters.

"We are delighted to be deepening our collaboration in helping viewers access our content, ensuring that, in a digital age, we deliver value for all audiences and that no one is left behind."

Freely will launch in 2024. Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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