LG brings the BBC's streaming apps to its 2020 TVs

Mike Wheatley

LG Electronics said Monday that its 2020 range of OLED and NanoCell LCD TVs can now access the BBC’s entire range of streaming apps.


That’s great news for anyone who’s purchased one of LG’s excellent TVs this year. As good as those models are, some buyers may well have felt a bit left out due to LG’s decision not to renew its partnership Freeview Play this year, which means the bulk of the U.K.’s catch-up TV apps are not available on its TVs.

That appears to be changing though, as LG sent a statement to HDTVTest today saying that its iPlayer app will automatically appear within the webOS launcher bar this week. In addition, it says both the BBC News and BBC Sport apps can be downloaded from the LG Content Store, starting this week.

“The update will be coming to all of LG’s 2020 TVs, including its range of OLED and NanoCell sets, adding to the already broad range of Smart TV Apps on offer within webOS,” the company said in its statement. “This includes Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, NOW TV, YouTube, and much more, giving customers instant access to premium entertainment, sports, and lifestyle programming on demand.”

The update should provide some relief to LG TV owners, giving them access to BBC services that have proven to be extremely popular this year due to the coronavirus lockdown. In recent months the iPlayer has seen a record number of requests from viewers looking to keep themselves entertained and informed while stuck at home.

There’s still some work to do for LG though, as there’s no mention of if or when its new TVs might gain access to the ITV Hub, All 4 and My5 apps, which are also available on Freeview. The BBC’s iPlayer might be the most popular U.K. catchup service, but it’s far from the only one and many buyers would expect their availability as a bare minimum for any TV they purchase. All the more so since LG’s 2019 TVs all came with those apps pre-installed.

Still, it’s not clear if LG is regretting its decision not to renew its partnership with Freeview – after all, its new 48-inch CX 4K OLED TV still appears to be selling like hot cakes even without those apps onboard.