Freeview HD TV streaming service VuTV has revealed its launch pricing. For a monthly subscription of £6.99 (€8.38), VuTV gives viewers the opportunity to access a premium range of channels – Comedy Central, MTV, CNN, Lifetime, History, H2, Crime & Investigation Network, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Cartoonito via their existing Freeview HD Internet-connected TV or box on Freeview channel 238 – with no long-term contracts.
There are now over 20 million Freeview homes, making Freeview the biggest digital TV platform in the UK. VuTV is aimed at the rapidly growing population of Freeview HD Internet-connected homes that currently do not have a pay-TV package. All consumers need is a compatible Freeview HD TV or box connected to an aerial and the Internet; no need for any extra boxes or remote controls. Once subscribers have signed up via vutv.com, they will be provided with their personal Activation Code and PIN for a one-off registration of their Freeview HD TV or box, giving quick and easy access to all VuTV’s channels.
With premium content being provided, VuTV is seeking high levels of interoperability and security. Synapse, a joint venture between TV technology specialist Strategy & Technology and bespoke streaming solutions provider Simplestream, is working closely with a broad range of manufacturers to ensure their existing and future Freeview HD products meet the standards required. Samsung is the first major manufacturer to provide full support for VuTV in their Freeview HD products, with others to follow soon. A full list of compatible devices is available at vutv.com/compatibility.
David Cutts, Director of VuTV, said the platform had been working with manufacturers from across the industry for some years, both to establish the specification for these TVs and to build the system to use them. “We are now finishing off the process of testing and approving the receivers in the market so we can enable more customers to receive VuTV. This is a continuing process and the list of devices that support VuTV will continue to grow”.
Bakori Davis, VP Commercial, A+E Networks UK, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of another multi-channel platform in the UK that offers more viewers a chance to enjoy the great content on our portfolio of channels, including Lifetime, our newest entertainment brand which launched this month.”
Arran Tindall, SVP, Commercial and Content Distribution, Viacom International Media Networks, UK, Australia, Russia and Eastern Europe, said that Viacom aimed to make its content and channel brands available on whichever platform its audience wants to access them, “so it’s great news that Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon will, for the first time, now be accessible via broadband connected digital terrestrial TV in the UK. The VuTV service is an easy, affordable way for suitable Freeview households to sample some of the very best channels that subscription TV in the UK has to offer.”
According to Anthony Lukom, MD and VP general manager, Turner Broadcasting, UK, the broadcaster demonstrates an ongoing commitment to be where its audiences are, and ensure multiple ways for them to engage with its channels and content. “We are delighted that through this great new service our multiplex of channels will be available via broadband connected digital terrestrial TV, a great opportunity for us and our audiences.”
BARB will measure viewing for all VuTV channels, providing broadcasters with an additional platform through which to monetise their content via incremental advertising impacts. VuTV powered by Synapse TV – a joint venture between Simplestream and Strategy & Technology – also offers broadcasters unique granular analytics of their consumers’ viewing behaviour.
December highlights on VuTV include Witches of East End (Lifetime), Beauty School Cop Outs (MTV), Sam & Cat (Nickelodeon), SpongeBob SquarePants (Nicktoons), Dora the Explorer (Nick Jr), South Park (Comedy Central), and Fred Dinenage – Murder Casebook (CI). Consumers will also be able to enjoy a wide range of Christmas specials such as Pawn Stars (History) and A Country Christmas Special, starring Dolly Parton (Lifetime) and Christmas films such as Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale (Boomerang), The Christmas Tree with Bananas in Pyjamas (Cartoonito), The Christmas Show from the Regular Show (Cartoon Network).