Freeview successor Freely launches this year, but there are still unanswered questions about the next-generation of UK TV

a television on a stand displaying the freely logo on-screen, known as the Freemoji

Freely will launch sometime in 2024. While there are still unanswered questions about the free-to-watch service, the company behind the new platform has revealed its logo, dubbed the "Freemoji"

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 17/01/2024

- 12:50

Updated: 30/04/2024

- 10:26

The release date of Freely isn't the only unknown surrounding this free-to-watch platform

  • Freely is an all-new platform from the company behind Freeview and Freesat
  • Although not a direct replacement, it's likely to become the default over time
  • Freely lets you stream channels from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Dave over Wi-Fi
  • Your existing Freeview Smart TV will not be upgraded to Freely

The biggest UK broadcasters ― the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 ― have teamed-up to launch a brand-new British streaming service this year. Known as Freely, the all-new platform will let you watch live television channels via an internet connection for free.

Freely, which is currently in development, will be preinstalled on Smart TVs as the default way to tune-in to the most popular free-to-air channels, including BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky Mix, E4, Dave, Film4, Drama, 5USA, Sky Arts, PBS America, and GB News.

Since everything is streamed over broadband, there’s no need to connect your telly to an aerial.

As more televisions with Freely built-in begin to ship over the next year, the next-generation service is likely to slowly replace Freeview and Freesat. Bothof these existing services were created by Everyone TV, which is also behind the forthcoming Freely.

The company is jointly owned by the biggest terrestrial broadcasters in the UK, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5.On-demand content will also be included as part of Freely.

Freely is part of a growing trend towards internet-powered telly. EE TV launched in early December, bringing Freeview channels via broadband to an EE TV Box Pro or Apple TV 4K. You can pause and rewind live television for up to two-hours and add Sky TV channels via a NOW membership.

It follows in the footsteps of Sky Stream and Sky Glass, which offer the traditional Sky TV experience without the need for a satellite dish. Everything is streamed via Wi-Fi or an ethernet connection, which means there’s no chance of disruption if the weather is terrible.

Hisense has been confirmed as the first TV brand to support Freely when it lands in the coming months. It will include Freely branding, instead of Freeview, on the packaging for its new Smart TVs.

These models will also arrive with a dedicated Freely button on the remote control toimmediately launch into the service. Both companies have signed up for a five-year collaboration.

Amy Rowcliffe, Marketing Director at Everyone TV, addressed the new logo in a statement: “The name Freely represents the ability to watch for free but also the freedom to choose how and what you watch.

“We have a cheeky, modern, and expressive character – which we have dubbed ‘Freemoji’ – that brings the brand to life as the viewer’s welcoming and inquisitive companion. Happy, sad, excited, scared, great free TV has the power to make us feel every emotion and we wanted a character to represent this.”

freely has a new logo designed to look like an emoji

Freely is the result of a collaboration between BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 ― just like Freeview and Freesat before it


Existing Freeview-equipped Smart TVs will not be upgraded to Freely via a software upgrade, you’ll need to purchase new hardwarein order to use the next-generation telly platform.

And that’s about all we know about the free-to-watch streamer at the moment.

With a launch scheduled for the coming months, there are several unknowns surrounding this new platform. First up, Everyone TV has yet to confirm whether, like EE TV and Sky Stream, viewers will be able to pause and rewind live television on Freely devices.

We’ve yet to see an example of what the service will look like on-screen, so there’s no word on whether Freely will suggest new shows, documentaries, and movies based on your previous viewing habits, like you’ll find on Sky, Netflix, and most recently, Roku.

And on the subject of streaming boxes like Roku, there’s no reason why Freely couldn’t be installed on devices like Roku Express, Chromecast with Google TV, or Amazon’s Fire TV as a standalone app.

Since it only requires an internet connection to watch live television and on-demand content, it could be installed from an app store to start watching on any television. This would be a way for viewers to upgrade to the new Freely experience without buying a new flatscreen TV.

But the biggest mystery is when Freely will launch.

Everyone TV says the service is "set for launch in 2024", but that’s all we know. With the reveal of its all-new logo and the five-year-long partnership with Hisense, Everyone TV is starting to trickle out news about its upcoming platform ahead of the launch.

We’d expect a few of our unanswered questions to be addressed in future updates from Everyone TV ahead of the release date sometime next year. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear.

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