Digital UK

Freeview: The UK's biggest television platform comes of age

Freeview EPG (credit: Freeview)

When Broadcasting House was opened in 1932, the front of the building was likened to the prow of a ship. With a commanding view that befitted the vessel’s bridge was the grandest office. It belonged to John Reith, the first Director-General. But the office above his, acknowledged as the second-grandest in the building, with equally magnificent wood panelling and an even loftier view down Langham Place, was that of the chief engineer.

Digital UK's Jonathan Thompson: "TV is turning into a global market"

Jonathan Thompson (Credit: Digital UK)

The UK’s most successful digital television platform, Freeview, passed another milestone last month, when it debuted its mobile app. Users can now stream live shows from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 plus on demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and UKTV Play.

As the nation’s public service broadcasters dwell on the growing impact of Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, the move could be pivotal in ensuring that British PSBs don’t become stranded as young people’s video consumption moves more and more online.

Guest post: A four-step plan to safeguard UK television

Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK

Our reaction to a major change of any kind usually goes in phases…

Avoidance (“I’m not going to look”)

Denial (“I’ve looked but I don’t believe it”)

Fear (“We’re doomed”)

Panic (“I just need to do something”)

Response (“Ok – maybe there is something practical I can do”)

Acceptance (“Well that wasn’t so bad”)

British TV has been fairly consistent in following this pattern when it has faced transformative change in the sector in the past.