YouView had better watch its back. Freeview and Digital UK are working on a new Freeview-branded TV service that will combine digital terrestrial TV with on-demand offerings like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, and 4oD. In other words, a service just like YouView.
The service is yet to be named, but has the working title of Freeview Connect. It will be subscription-free, but we'll have to wait for it – it'll be developed, launched and promoted over the next five years.
Ilse Howling, former managing director of Freeview, has been appointed managing director of Connected TV at Digital UK, and will develop the new service.
She said in a statement: "I'm delighted to be joining Digital UK to lead development of the new connected service. The company is well placed to develop the next generation specification and work with the supply chain to support a new, mass market service to make connected TV available free, for everyone."
Jonathan Thompson, chief executive of Digital UK, added: "This announcement marks a critical step in the next stage of the platform's development, ensuring that it will remain as relevant, important and valued by viewers in the future as it is today."
Freeview is the largest TV provider in the UK, with more than 11 million homes taking the service. It has a huge lead over YouView, which launched in 2012 and is in over a million homes.