YouView and Sony have announced a “major” new partnership that will see the connected TV platform’s backwards EPG integrated into most of Sony’s 2015 range of televisions.
Today’s deal is likely to significantly increase the number of households using YouView as a Free to Air platform and help boost consumer awareness of the brand.
Until now the service was only available via set top boxes, many of which have been provided by shareholders BT and TalkTalk as part of a pay-TV package.
The platform’s other backers include the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and transmission company Arqiva.
As well the backwards EPG, the deal gives Sony access to BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player and Demand 5 and YouView’s search facility which can search both upcoming TV programmes and on-demand content at the same time.
Customers will have a choice of 20 YouView enabled Sony BRAVIA televisions, including 12 4K models.
The sets will also include access to additional apps, including games, thanks to Sony’s support for Google’s Android TV platform.
Sony’s UK boss, John Anderson, said the electronics and entertainment giant was “delighted to be the first manufacturer in the UK to announce the addition of YouView to our range of TVs.”
He added: “We believe that our new BRAVIA range now has an unparalleled combination of Sony’s fantastic picture quality, fantastic design and the widest choice of content ever complete with Sony High Resolution Audio.”
Richard Halton, YouView CEO, said: “We are thrilled to announce a major collaboration with Sony on our first ever project to make YouView available on TVs.
“This exciting YouView and Sony partnership will create a deep integration of YouView’s functionality within the new Sony TV range, built on the Android platform.
“It will offer everything you’d expect from YouView including our iconic seamless and easy to use TV guide, giving customers simple access to the live and catch up TV they love.”
Although at launch the YouView-enabled TVs will only support channels delivered via the aerial, a YouView spokesperson suggested support for additional channels as well as non-PSB catch-up players could be added in a future update.