Google has signed a deal with the U.K.’s Freesat to launch a standalone YouTube TV channel. Customers of the satellite TV operator will soon be able to access YouTube on the main programming guide. Freesat is backed by the BBC and ITV.
Last year YouTube launched 60 broadcast-style channels featuring programs by UK production companies including BBC Worldwide and Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One.
By the end of next month, customers of Freesat will be able to flick to the YouTube online video site on the main programming guide, instead of having to link up their television sets to the internet or watch YouTube on a computer, reports The UK Telegraph.
Customers of Freesat, which launched in 2008, require a set-top box to access the service but do not have to pay a subscription fee. The company now has more than 3 million of the devices in 1.7 million UK households.
RBR-TVBR observation: Let’s face it—YouTube/Google knows they will get more eyeballs by going the network TV route, rather than waiting for folks to buy iPTVs and find their channels that way or via a gaming device that offers iPTV connectivity. Expect Google to strike as many deals as possible like this in countries where it has enough production firepower.