YouView funding secured for "at least five years"

The future of YouView seems secure after shareholders in the internet-based TV service – which includes the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – signed a deal reported to be worth more than £100m.

A statement said the new agreement ensured funding would be in place for "at least five years", promoting the "future of connected free-to-air TV".

MORE: See all our IPTV digital box reviews

YouView says the deal will enable "an upgrade path to pay services" alongside the existing 70 free-to-air TV and radio channels and nine integrated on-demand players.

Shareholders, which also includes Channel 5, BT, TalkTalk and Arquiva, will remain as equal partners in the venture, with further content provider additions planned this year.

HANDS ON: YouView – Hands-on with the Humax DTR-T1000 YouView box

Recently there had been concerns about the future of YouView after reports suggested that the BBC and other broadcasters intended to reduce their investment in the service.

It was claimed that the free-to-air broadcasters planned to scale back their involvement because internet service providers such as BT and TalkTalk had expanded the number of available pay-TV options.

MORE: 'Freeview Connect' to deliver catch-up TV through smart TVs?

However, it seems any fears have been allayed with this new agreement, which ensures continued funding until 2019.

YouView CEO Richard Halton said: "We are delighted that all seven shareholders have committed to the future of YouView with a five-year term.

"The next phase involves ambitious developments across a range of devices and we’re looking forward to achieving our long-term target of 10 million connected UK homes."

MORE: BT launches "smaller and sleeker" YouView+ box

by Pete Hayman

Follow on Twitter

Join us on Facebook

Find us on Google+

Pete was content editor on What Hi-Fi?, overseeing production and publication of digital content. In creating and curating feature articles for web and print consumption, he provided digital and editorial expertise and support to help reposition What Hi-Fi? as a ‘digital-first’ title; reflecting the contemporary media trends. He is now a senior content strategist.