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YouTube to roll out on UK TV via Freesat deal

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YouTube, the Google-owned video-sharing website, is to launch on British free-to-air television for the first time after agreeing a deal with Freesat.

Built using web technology HTML 5, the YouTube service on Freesat will be optimised for the television, offering a visually rich and interactive viewing experience.

Freesat logo
Youtube logo


By the end of next month, customers of the BBC and ITV-backed satellite TV service will get access to YouTube via the Freesat programming guide.

They will be able to watch a range of user-generated content, and videos from the original channels introduced to YouTube over the past year.

YouTube is already available on Virgin Media's TiVo service and a range of connected TV sets, but this is the first time that it has been officially offered on a subscription-free UK television platform.

Freesat managing director Emma Scott said: "Today's great news is a testament to our ongoing commitment to delivering genuine viewer choice."

YouTube product marketing manager Peter Sherman added: "We're happy to be working with Freesat so that Freesat users can now access YouTube from the platform.

"Our creator community is developing quality content that will delight and inspire viewers and we're pleased to be able to bring it to people in new ways."

Free Time UI screenshot


Also today, Freesat reported passing 3 million sales of receiver equipment since its launch in 2008, generating more than £1 billion in revenue.

Freesat added 55,000 new households in the third quarter of 2012, a rate of growth faster than satellite TV rival Sky (25,000) and pay-TV service BT Vision (20,000) over the same period.

Scott said that Freesat has established itself "as a real challenger and genuine alternative to pay-TV".

"In that time we've delivered choice and quality, subscription free. Customer choice has driven every stage of our development; not least the launch of our second generation service, 'free time', in Q3 of last year," she said.

"We're now delighted to add to our already fantastic customer offering with YouTube. They join Freesat at a time of rapid growth for our business and will offer our viewers an exclusive, first view of their latest version - previously unseen on free to air TV in the UK."

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