Freely, the streaming service backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5, to launch next year on Hisense TVs

Mike Wheatley

Everyone TV has announced the coming launch of a brand new and free video streaming service created by the U.K.’s top broadcasters. It’s called Freely and it will launch next year, and Hisense has been revealed as the first smart TV maker to integrate the service, which is an online version of Freeview Play.


Freely enables viewers to do away with their aerials or satellite dishes and access Freeview’s content over the internet, streaming live and on-demand content directly to their TV sets.

The launch of the new service comes at an interesting time, as traditional broadcasters battle it out with streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ for their eyeballs.

Freeview also faces competition from Sky and Virgin media, which have both launched streaming services that provide access to their own content. U.K. broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, first announced their plans for Freely in September.

Now they have unveiled the brand identity, alongside a new logo for the offering. Channel 5 is also a partner in the new service.

With Freely, viewers will be able to access live channels and on-demand content from all four public service broadcasters, as well as other free-to-air channels, from a single location. The entire service will be free to access, forever, the broadcasters said.

Everyone TV, which is the joint venture set up by the broadcasters to run Freely, said it will reveal more details about the upcoming service next year. It’s expected to announce plans to build Freely into the majority of new Smart TVs sold in the U.K.

Hisense will be the first TV brand to kick things off. It said it has agreed a five-year deal with Everyone TV to incorporate Freely into its smart TVs, beginning with its 2024 range. The service will also have a dedicated button on Hisense’s TV remotes. With the service, Hisense will become the first TV brand to livestream the U.K.’s most established channels, such as BBC 1, BBC 2 and ITV, into U.K. viewers’ homes, in addition to their on-demand programmes.

The big advantage for consumers is convenience, as it means they can simply connect their TV to the WiFi and watch everything, without needing an aerial or satellite dish.

Hisense’s TVs will come with the Freely app pre-installed, and feature an interactive TV guide to help users access all of its content.

Everyone TV’s marketing director Amy Rowcliffe said the name “Freely” represents both the ability to watch TV for free, and also the freedom for people to choose how and what they want to 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,” Rowcliffe said. “Happy, sad, excited, scared, great free TV has the power to make us feel every emotion and we wanted a character to represent this. Our distinctive new branding will bring free TV into the streaming age for everyone - with a world of endless entertainment, all in one place."