Transmission company Arqiva has been appointed to build Freeview’s new internet connected TV service.
The service was first announced in June amid disputed media reports that ITV, the BBC and Channel 4 were unhappy that their YouView platform had been “hijacked” by BT and TalkTalk.
Although the companies denied the claims, they have agreed to fund development of the new service which will compete with both YouView and Freesat, which is also funded by the BBC and ITV.
Like YouView, the new Freeview service will include a ‘backwards EPG’ allowing viewers “to move seamlessly between live programmes and on-demand shows.”
The service will include iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD and Freeview says it’ll announce further content providers “in due course”.
Digital UK, the firm which supports Freeview viewers and channels, has also announced it’s making the new service’s technical specification available to manufacturers and content providers.
Ilse Howling, Managing Director, Connected TV at Digital UK said: “These agreements are a crucial step on the road to giving millions of Freeview viewers the freedom to watch what they want, when they want.
“We are delighted with the progress we are making and the levels of interest from manufacturers, retailers and viewers.
“We look forward to working with Arqiva and our other partners who together will play a vital role in bringing the next generation of Freeview products to life.’
Charles Constable, Managing Director of Digital Platforms at Arqiva, added: “Arqiva is committed to ensuring Freeview remains a strong and competitive player in the changing TV landscape.”