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The BBC, Channel 4 and ITV are set to switch their focus from YouView to a new brand called Freeview Connect.

As reported by the Guardian, the free-to-air broadcasters are to back a service which will make their catch-up TV services available on Smart TVs.

freeview tv

This will allow viewers to enjoy content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD via their TV set without the need for a YouView set-top box.

According to the news provider, the move comes following the perceived "hijacking" of YouView by the broadcasters' joint venture partners BT and TalkTalk.

It was originally thought that YouView would help the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five defend their free-to-air interests in the digital TV environment.

Yet is has been BT and TalkTalk - each of which has launched subscription services using the platform - which have seen the greatest benefit from the connected-TV platform.

And as such, the free-to-air broadcasters are set to reduce the amount they invest in YouView when the new shareholders agreement comes into force in the spring.

Funds are to be channelled into Freeview Connect, a Digital UK-led initiative designed to safeguard the future of public service television.

The Guardian says that with up to three million UK households set to have a Smart TV by the end of 2014, an increasing number of people will be able to access free-to-air catch-up services.

BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD are available online and through a YouView box, but Freeview Connect will give UK consumers another viewing option

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