UKTV Play expands reach with Freeview Play launch

Posted April 6, 2016 - Press Releases

UKTV Play – complete with previews, collections, celeb picks, favourites list, history and resume function – to launch on Freeview Play

UKTV today announced it is further expanding the reach of its award-nominated on demand service, UKTV Play, by making it available on Freeview Play.

Freeview Play, which launched in October, is a subscription-free service which combines catch up, on demand services and live television, and is available via TVs and set-top boxes.

The UKTV Play app will arrive on Freeview Play devices automatically when it launches later in Q3, and offers catch up and on demand access to programmes from UKTV’s popular free-to-air channels Dave, Yesterday, Really and Drama. The app boasts an array of features including UKTV Play-exclusive previews of brand new series, and ‘My List’, allowing users to create their own bespoke collection. Viewers also have the benefit of selecting shows to catch up on by scrolling backwards in the EPG.

Users of the service will be able to watch popular UKTV Originals David Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled and Storage Hunters UK. For ease, UKTV has also handpicked collections of programmes, organised by themes and moods; and viewers’ favourite TV stars offer their viewing recommendations via celebrity picks. Users can also view their history and enjoy the handy ‘resume’ playback function.

UKTV Play general manager, Emma Boston, said, “We’re committed to building a world-class on demand service and making it available to as many people as possible, so it’s really exciting to be announcing another big platform launch for UKTV Play. Freeview Play users will have access to a slate of incredible shows coming to the service this year, including Dave’s brand new and exclusive Red Dwarf.”

Freeview Managing Director, Guy North said: “Since launching Freeview Play last year the service has continued to grow with more broadcasters and manufacturers coming on board. It’s fantastic to be adding UKTV Play to our offering and means we’re bringing viewers even more of the very best television whenever they want it without paying for a subscription.”

UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in Britain, home to 10 linear channels including the two biggest non-PSB channels in the UK, Dave and Drama.  UKTV launched its VOD service, UKTV Play, in summer 2014 and has rapidly rolled it out across multiple devices and platforms. Freeview Play joins Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, YouView, Virgin TV and BT TV in offering the on demand service, which is also available on iOS, Android and PC.

UKTV’s end-of-year figures showed UKTV Play views were up 26% for 2015 vs 2014. Brand new episodes of popular US comedies Suits and The Last Man on Earth, plus user favourites Alan Davies As Yet Untitled, Sin City Motors, The Bill, The Ghost Inside My Child and Dead Gallipoli have all driven UKTV Play’s recent success.

Technical development of Freeview Play, including product specification, is being led by Digital UK.

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