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Australia to get free-to-air catch-up service

The free digital television service in Australia, Freeview, is planning an advanced electronic program guide, FreeviewPlus, which will deliver catch-up programming from the country’s free-to-air (FTA) channels.

Set to launch in early 2014, the hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV) technology combines the Internet and broadcast television. The HbbTV standard has been adopted by a number of broadcasters in Europe, notably in France and Germany.

Freeview comprises all the channels from Australia’s FTA broadcasters. It is a not-for-profit organization owned by ABC, SBS, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, PRIME7 and Southern Cross Television. 

Liz Ross, General Manager of Freeview said the service will be appreciated by the large FTA viewership: “From next year, Australian TV viewers will be able to enjoy one of the most sophisticated and yet easy-to-use free-to-air TV services in the world. Everyday 14 million Australians are tuning into live FTA TV and viewers have shown how much they love catch-up services with one in four now watching catch-up TV.”