Netflix beware: Freeview Play now has 20,000 hours of free on demand TV



Freeview Play, the UK TV platform that combines live TV with a full suite of catch-up television now boasts 20,000 hours of free on demand content for its viewers.

And that’s before you include all the live TV it serves up daily, too.

It’s the addition of Channel 5’s My5 player that’s pushed the tally up to the 20,000 hours mark, joining the likes of BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK and Horror Bites on the service.

To put that figure into context, it’s running close to the 22,600 hours of paid-for programming from Amazon Prime Video, and approaching double what Sky’s pay-as-you-view Now TV serves up.

  • Freeview Play: everything you need to know about the UK’s catch-up service

Boxes of box sets

The news comes at a time when there’s a growing trend towards so-called cord-cutting – ditching paid-for TV contract services in favour of the free services that can be picked up online, or the monthly subscriptions that providers like Netflix offer.

But even those monthly subscriptions are getting increasingly costly – while premium UK TV service Sky announced pricing raises of close to 5% earlier this year, Netflix has hiked its prices up 20%, making the likes of Freeview Play all the more valuable to cash-strapped viewers.

The battle for TV viewers’ cash is only going to get more intense as the year rolls on too, with the launches of two new paid for services, bursting at the seams with their own exclusive content: Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus. It’s a war that’s causing Netflix to even reconsider the kinds of original programming it spends its money on.

Either way, it’s win-win for Freeview Play viewers, with the UK now having 7 million Freeview Play devices out in the wild. It’s enough to make you reconsider that Amazon Prime Day boxset deal binge.



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