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Freeview sees in 20th anniversary with monumental milestone

freeview 2022 UI


Freeview is now home to an astonishing 60,000 hours of fantastic content, giving UK viewers an enormous wealth of TV, for free.

Having increased its on-demand offering by 20,000 hours since April 2022, Freeview is seeing in its 20th anniversary with another impressive milestone as more consumers consider cutting paid-for streaming subscriptions amid the cost-of-living crisis in the UK.

With ITVX, the new streaming destination for all things ITV coming soon to Freeview*, Freeview viewers will have access to the improved service, as well as exclusive ITV programmes, cult classics, blockbuster films, and eye-opening documentaries.

“From 40,0000 hours of content in April 2022 to 60,000 hours today, Freeview Play’s offering just keeps getting stronger and stronger. With more live channels, brand-new on demand player PBS America, and the launch of ITVX, it’s been a great year for Freeview Play and we are so happy to be able to offer viewers so much fantastic content, completely free of charge”, says Owen Jenkinson, Marketing Director at Freeview Play.

20 years of fantastic television

Freeview is the most popular TV platform in the UK, giving 16 million homes access to 95% of the nation’s favourite shows, for free.

Its connected service, Freeview Play, provides access to over 80 live TV channels and eleven on-demand players; BBC iPlayer, ITVX, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Legend, STV Player, POP Player, PBS America, and BBC Sounds. With the majority of new TVs sold each month offering Freeview Play, the service is home to a wealth of on-demand shows and films, and more than 1500 boxsets.

With such an extensive range available, Freeview Play makes it easy to find old favourites and discover the best new shows, through universal search, handpicked recommendations, and the ability to curate watch lists.

Since its launch in 2002, Freeview has become a must-have feature for smart TVs in the UK, seeing in the digital switchover, introducing free HD channels, and selling over 15 million devices. The company launched Freeview Play in 2015 to bring the most popular free on demand services to the nation, before branching out to mobile devices in 2019, allowing viewers to browse and watch their favourite shows on the go.

In the last two years, Freeview Play has secured its place as the UK’s favourite free streaming service, bringing boxsets, a new content discovery app (Explore Freeview Play), and accessible TV guides to its 11 million active users.

The fastest growing connected TV service in the UK, Freeview Play continues to be updated regularly, with new content from the likes of PBS America Player and improved discovery features such as genre recommendations joining the service in 2022.

Freeview celebrates 20 years with epic TV giveaway

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To celebrate two decades of incredible drama, comedy, documentaries, and more, has launched an epic TV giveaway that will see in 20 days of fantastic festive freebies in December.

Having kicked off on Thursday 1st December, Freeview is giving its Instagram followers the chance to win a 50-inch 4K QLED TV every day, as well as a final ‘ultimate night in’ prize worth £1,000 on Tuesday 20th December.

@freeviewtv is posting a clip from an iconic show for each day of the epic TV giveaway - followers must guess the name of the TV show for a shot at winning a brand-new TV. For more information on Freeview’s 20th anniversary TV giveaway, head to @freeviewtv on Instagram. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

About Freeview 

Freeview is the UK’s biggest TV platform. Its connected TV service, Freeview Play, launched in 2015 to bring together live and on-demand content from the nation’s favourite streaming players. 

In 2019, Freeview launched its mobile app, giving viewers access to the country’s most popular programmes all in one place, on the go. 

The Freeview platform is managed by Digital UK Ltd and DTV Services Ltd. The companies have three common shareholders - BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 – while Channel 5 is a shareholder in Digital UK and Sky is a shareholder in DTV Services Ltd.

Freeview Milestones

  • 2002 - Freeview launches with 25 channels accessed via a set-top box.
  • 2003 - BBC Three replaces BBC Choice, targeting 16-34 year olds.
  • 2004 - Freeview is built into TVs for the first time.
  • 2005 - Freeview reaches 5 million homes.
  • 2006 - Freeview overtakes traditional analogue TV sets in the UK.
  • 2007 - The digital switchover commences in the UK.
  • 2008 - Freeview+ launches, bringing recording functionality to Freeview.
  • 2009 - Freeview HD starts broadcasting, with BBC HD and ITV HD.
  • 2010 - Channel 4 HD launches, along with ITV1 HD.
  • 2011 - Total Freeview HD devices sold passes 4.4 million.
  • 2012 - Digital switch over completes and Freeview reaches over 20 million households.
  • 2013 - BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, CBBC, and CBeebies launch HD channels.
  • 2014 - Freeview undergoes a major upgrade.
  • 2015 - Freeview Play launches, bringing the most popular free on demand services to millions of devices
  • 2016 - Freeview devices go HD-only.
  • 2017 - Freeview Play now available on Philips, Panasonic, LG and Hisense TVs.
  • 2018 - Freeview Play devices pass 5 million sales.
  • 2019 - The Freeview mobile app launches.
  • 2020 - Box sets and the Accessible TV guide launch on Freeview Play.
  • 2021 - Freeview Play reaches 10 million active users.
  • 2022 - Freeview is now home to 60,000 hours of content, seeing in its 20th anniversary with another impressive milestone

* ITVX not available on all Freeview Play devices.

* All the information in this press release about hours of content and number of boxsets includes devices supporting the ITV Hub or the ITVX application.