Major TV networks combine for Freeview Plus HbbTV push

FreeviewPlus plus logoThe new FreeviewPlus HbbTV push will debut in May with all the free-to-air broadcasters signed up to the project which will allow viewers to watch catch-up programming through their television sets.

At the centre of the new offering will be a new electronic program guide which will allow viewers to watch shows which have already been on up to seven days ago if they have the FreeviewPlus box connected to broadband. HbbTV stands for hybrid broadcast broadband television.

The rollout, which is planned for May, will also be supported by a huge marketing campaign, as TV networks look to get customers using the technology in a bid to keep them watching shows on their platforms, as more viewers switch to digital streaming to access shows they have missed, or before they have aired in here.

Liz Ross, general manager of Freeview, said in a statement this morning:“FreeviewPlus is one of the most important advances in free-to-air television in Australia since the introduction of digital TV.

“We expect that with the launch of FreeviewPlus, Australians will continue their love of FTA TV as more and more viewers watch their favourite shows when they want to watch them on their TV with the simple press of a button.”

A major attraction of the new service will be the availability of all the free-to-air catch-up digital services through a TV set in one place, bringing the likes of Ten Play, Jump In from Nine and Plus Seven together with SBS and ABC’s iView services.

Seven has been the most proactive of the free-to-air networks in talking about the HbbTV agenda, having already pushed into the space with HealthyMeTV which launched late last year,  and is currently on the hunt for a new digital head to launch its offering.

Last year Foxtel started offering a catch-up TV service to its customers through the set-top boxes, allowing them to watch shows broadcast up to 26 hours earlier through the TV Guide function.

The announcement has been welcomed by Network Ten’s CEO Hamish McLennan, who said in a statement: “The seamless connection of broadcast television and broadband through the FreeviewPlus technology will open up a new world of content, interactivity and choice.

“FreeviewPlus represents a new way for consumers to engage with the highly successful tenplay catch-up service. And that is just the start. There are many opportunities to use this technology to offer consumers new and innovative services.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.