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Connect TV increases IP channels on Freeview

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© Connect TV

Connect TV, the UK's first broadband TV platform launched over Freeview, has claimed that it now offers more TV channels than its digital terrestrial television (DTT) host.

The service launched in February with a mission to change the "free to air TV landscape in the UK", by combining Freeview with IPTV to help broadcasters and content owners to reach their audience in a more cost-effective way.

Connect TV debuted on all compatible IP-connected Freeview receiver equipment with an initial lineup of 45 internet-delivered channels, offered in addition to the main Freeview programme guide.

The channels included high-profile names such as Racing UK, former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie's Sports Tonight Live channel and Chinese network CCTV, along with a range of overseas services, including French, Greek, Polish and Turkish programming from the Vision TV Network (channel 110).

In a statement issued to Rapid TV News, Connect TV managing director Phil Walder said that the service now offers 70 channels and is on track to double the size of Freeview by the end of the year.

"The latest launches demonstrate the value of our platform and now brings the number of channels on the Connect TV platform to 70, so we've passed Freeview and are ahead of schedule to meet our launch promise of doubling the size of the terrestrial platform by the end of 2012," he said.

"Because our connected platform is available to any Freeview HD compatible TV or set-top, it's going to be a very long time before other connected TV platforms in the UK can even get close to the numbers of consumers capable of enjoying Connect TV."

New channels launched today on Connect TV include a range of specialist networks, such as The Christian Channel, Arabic and Islamic content and additional channels added to the Polska Plus service on Vision TV.

Connect TV feels that its primary selling point to consumers is that they don't necessarily need to purchase dedicated equipment to access the service, as it works with all newer IP-connected Freeview boxes and TVs.

Around 5m homes are understood to have such kit at the moment, but that is expected to rise rapidly, particularly with the imminent launch of the BBC-backed YouView set top box venture.

Alongside a range of free channels, Connect TV also delivers paid-for content, networks and video on-demand services, all within the ecosystem of Freeview.

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