BBC, ITV and Channel 4 combine their clout for £125m Netflix challenger

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 combine their clout for £125m Netflix challenger

The BBC, Channel 4 and ITV have put on a united front in order to see off the mounting threat posed by Netflix and Amazon, committing to a combined £125m investment in Freeview over five years.

It also comes with an investment from national transmitter owner Arqiva, which also co-owns Digital UK (which carries responsibility for the technical development of Freeview), with the aim of adding a suite of new services for viewers to watch both live and on demand programming.

The collaboration been pitched as a tentative step toward the holy grail of UK public service broadcasting, an online streaming service which offers all available content from the broadcasters.

Jonathan Thompson, chief executive of Freeview operator Digital UK, said: "As the UK’s TV landscape becomes increasingly impacted by global players, this new commitment from our shareholders is a major boost for UK viewers. Building on this spirit of collaboration, we will not only safeguard free-to-view TV but reinvent it for a new age of viewing."

A rapidly evolving media landscape has seen growing numbers of viewers cancel pay TV subscriptions, relying solely on Freeview and Netflix or Amazon.

Netflix recently surpassed 132.6m global subscribers.

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