BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have joined forces to invest £125 million into a new Freeview app, which the British broadcasters hope can rival Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and all the other streaming services vying for the attention of British audiences. Network operator Arqiva is also involved in the deal.
Rumours of a collaboration between BBC, ITV and Channel 4 surfaced a month ago, and now we know it for a fact: these three pillars of our televisual landscape are working together, and investing a lot of money, to protect their old guard segment of the creative industries from the ever-growing competition of the online realm.
The £125 million will be spent on an app for smartphones and tablets, which will allow viewers to watch their favourite Freeview shows on the go. The app is aiming for release later this year.
Collectively, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva are known as Digital UK. Their chief executive is Jonathan Thompson, and he said this about the project:
“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.”
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.