TV and set top box makers have criticised plans to charge them for including the next generation of Freeview in their products.
Freeview Play is a new internet-connected version of the free TV platform and will offer access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 via a scroll-back TV guide similar to those already available on Freesat and YouView.
Digital UK, which is developing the new platform on behalf of Freeview, wants to charge manufacturers to include it in their devices.
The body says the “modest amount” it levies will “help meet the development and ongoing costs of operating the new platform.”
However the demand for cash has been criticised by industry lobbyists techUK who say “free-to-view services, however consumed, should remain free and that the enabling technologies and hardware should not be subject to any additional fees or levies.”
Paul Hide, Director of Operations for techUK, says his members would be forced to pass on the levy to consumers who have “already paid a TV licence fee to access these services”.
Digital UK says it’s right that firms who benefit from its shareholders’ investment make a contribution and insists its approach “is not unusual across the industry”.
The first Freeview pPay devices, including new TVs from Panasonic, are expected to arrive in shops later this year.