'Peppa Pig' and Ashton Kutcher coming to Freeview HD

A range of pay-TV channels, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and Cartoonito, will soon be made available to Freeview HD homes outside of any annual subscriptions, via a new TV service called VuTV.

VuTV:  to offer a range of pay-TV channels through pay-as-you-go monthly payments
VuTV: to offer a range of pay-TV channels through pay-as-you-go monthly payments

VuTV is hoping to disrupt the status quo when it launches in the UK this autumn through a partnership with Freeview channel 238 and a number of carriage deals.

It will enable a range of premium channels from A+E Networks, Viacom International Media Networks and Turner Broadcasting to be via Freeview HD boxes, through pay-as-you-go monthly payments.

Details surrounding the monthly price packages of the channels are currently being kept under wraps, but among the first wave of channels to be made available to internet-connected Freeview HD homes are Comedy Central (home to Ashton Kutcher's 'Two and a Half Men'), Nickelodeon (home to 'Peppa Pig'), BIO, MTV, CNN, HISTORY, H2, Crime & Investigation Network, Nicktoons, Nick Jr, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Cartoonito.

VuTV hopes to tap into a new gap in the market presented by internet-connected televisions, by offering consumers a low-cost alternative to traditional pay-TV platforms.

Unlike traditional pay-TV providers, VuTV will also offer the digital channels without any long-term contract commitments.

There are now more than 11 million Freeview homes in the UK and the number of homes with Freeview HD on their main set is believed to be 3.53 million, and growing.

Dan Finch, director of one of VuTV's parent companies, Simplestream, said: "We work with a wide range of broadcasters to stream their linear and on-demand TV to multiple devices. The content owners we engaged with embraced the idea of targeting the Freeview HD market with their portfolio of channels.

"As the public get wiser to connecting up their TVs, and the TVs get smarter, it's a great opportunity for channel providers to tap into the Freeview market and gain access to real-time viewing data of their channels that can be used to help shape their own marketing strategy."

Barb will measure viewing of all VuTV channels in the same way as traditional over-the-air channels, helping to increase the broadcasters' individual ad revenues.

VuTV is said to be the first of a number of services to be powered by Synapse TV, a joint venture between Simplestream and Strategy & Technology.

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