YouTube gets UK TV channel

11/02/2013

Google has signed a deal with Freesat to launch a YouTube TV channel in the UK, as it looks to rival traditional broadcasters in terms of video ad revenue.

The deal will expand upon YouTube 60 broadcast-style channels which launched online last year, featuring programmes from BBC Worldwide and Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One.

Freesat — a joint-venture between UK broadcasters ITV and the BBC — already offers more than 60 channels.

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Set to launch by the end of March, Freesat customers will be able watch the YouTube online video site on the main programming guide, instead of having to link up their television sets to the internet or watch YouTube on a computer.

Emma Scott, managing director of Freesat, said she was a “firm believer” that broadcast television has a long life ahead of it, but that more and more viewers want to see other types of content on the television screen as well.

Customers of Freesat, which launched in 2008, require a set-top box to access the service but do not have to pay a subscription fee. The company now has more than 3m of the devices in 1.7m UK households.

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