Expanding its online video services beyond the Web, Google has signed a deal (via The Telegraph) with free-to-air UK satellite TV service Freesat to add a dedicated YouTube app for customers, ensuring that they will be able to access millions of videos without the need for an additional device.
Freesat — a joint-venture between UK broadcasters ITV and the BBC — already offers more than 60 channels, with Google’s Web-connected YouTube channel launching at the end of March. Once live, viewers will be able to access YouTube videos in the same way they do for BBC’s iPlayer service and other catch-up TV programming.
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Freesat says YouTube app will be built using HTML 5 and will offer “a TV-optimised, visually stunning and fully interactive viewing experience.” Users will need their “freetime” boxes to access the service.
It’s a nice addition for owners of a Freesat set-top box, who will gain more content at no extra cost. For Google, it will see more people in the UK access it video service, likely increasing ad views as a result.
While BSkyB, Virgin Media and BT offer their own paid-TV services, Freesat has a respectable (albeit smaller) share of the UK TV market, with over 3 million sales of its set-top boxes (in 1.7 million homes).
Please Note: The original article sourced from The Telegraph stated that the Freesat YouTube service would be a new “channel,” when it is actually an HTML5 app.