A NEW streaming service that’s free for users has launched in the UK in collaboration with the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Freely is now available through the next generation of smart TVs and will let households access free-to-air channels via the internet alongside on-demand content, without the need for an aerial or satellite dish.

Everyone TV, which is owned and supported by the UK’s leading public service broadcasters (PSBs), has launched the new service.

New streaming service backed by major broadcasters

Kieran Clifton, director, BBC distribution and business development, said: “The launch of Freely is a historic moment for UK television.

“Collaboration between the UK PSBs is critical to connecting and protecting all audiences as we transition towards the streaming era – and delivering live TV over broadband for free is a ground-breaking innovation that will futureproof public service broadcasting.”

Martin Goswami, ITV group strategic partnerships and distribution director, said: “The success and impact of programmes like ITV’s Mr Bates Vs The Post Office shows the importance of UK PSBs and ITV is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter for free TV in this country with Freely.

“Bringing live-streamed channels and on-demand content together in Freely gives viewers the opportunity to access the very best in British content as easily as possible, from live and recent programmes to a wealth of on-demand options.”

Grace Boswood, technology and distribution director, Channel 4, said: “Freely will deliver the best of Britain’s world-leading public service content seamlessly and for free.

“It further supports Channel 4’s Fast Forward strategy as we accelerate our transformation into the streaming age, ensuring our trusted, brand-safe content is available to everyone.”

James Tatam, SVP business and revenue for Channel 5, said: “We’re delighted to be part of Freely, which will ensure UK audiences can continue to easily discover and enjoy original, high-quality British programmes from Channel 5 and the other public service broadcasters – live and on demand, for free.”

Which TVs does Freely work on?

Freely is available now on Hisense TVs which use the Vidaa operating system.

In the coming weeks, Freely will become available on Vestel TVs, powered by the TiVo operating system.

If you’re interested in buying one of the smart TVs, they will be available in stores across the UK and online at retailers such as Currys, Argos, AO and Very.