Australia’s Freeview claims first with new mobile app service

Australian digital television service Freeview has claimed a world first by unveiling plans for a new mobile app service that will deliver domestic free-to-air television channels through one centralised platform.

Due to launch next month, Freeview FV will provide more than 15 free-to-air channels delivered live from Freeview members, along with catch-up content from all Australian free-to-air networks.

Freeview FV joins Freeview’s existing hybrid television service, FreeviewPlus, and will be available to all Australians via their mobile devices.

Freeview chief executive Liz Ross said: “For the first time globally, an FTA industry has united to create and deliver a powerful consumer experience. Freeview FV will completely revolutionise access to the free-to-air TV offering in Australia.”

However, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper noted that the new service’s sports offering is set to be complicated by the various rights models employed by Australia’s major sports bodies. Games from rugby league competition the NRL are set to be available through Freeview FV from 2018 as commercial broadcaster Nine holds digital rights to the league.

However, fans of Aussie rules football league the AFL will need to pay for Telstra’s mobile app as the telecommunications company holds live digital streaming rights until 2022. Cricket Australia also retains its digital rights for both Twenty20 competition the Big Bash League and international matches.