Freeview users just gained a VERY tasty new upgrade, and that's not all

Freeview viewers have awoken to find a new channel and catch-up service on their televisions this morning. The free-to-watch telly service – a joint project by BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky – has unlocked a new food and cooking channel called BITE.

BITE includes a range of talent from across the globe appearing on-screen, including Luke Nguyen, Anjum Anand, Peter Kuruvita, Curtis Stone, Manu Feildel, Gary Mehigan, Andy Allen, and Justine Schofield. It will broadcast 24-hours a day and, according to the team behind the channel, will feature a blend of culinary and food content. BITE will compete head-to-head with Discovery’s Food Network, which merged with Good Food in September 2020.

Discovery recently launched its own streaming service, similar to Netflix, which offers on-demand boxsets, access to live channels – including Olympics coverage, and advert-free binging, for a flat monthly fee. BITE is taking a completely different approach.

Since BITE is completely free to watch, the channel will be funded entirely from advertising breaks. That’s a similar technique used by a number of other recent additions to Freeview.

Alongside its launch on Freeview, the team behind BITE are eyeing up an expansion to a number of internet-connected platforms in the UK, including Rakuten TV.

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“Launching FAST channel is the next phase in making our awesome content accessible to an ever-growing number of viewers, and providing greater value to our production partners. We look forward to working closely with the production community to serve up more premium culinary travel programming for food lovers across the UK,” said Mathew Ashcroft, who is founder of BITE patent company, Parade Media Group.

And BITE isn’t the only new addition to the line-up on Freeview.

Those who have a Smart TV or set-top box with access to Freeview Play, which combines the free-to-watch line-up of terrestrial channels with on-demand and catch-up services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and more. Starting this week, viewers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can now join their Scottish friends and access more than 1,500 hours of free catch-up content via the STV Player.

STV Player, which is trying to boost the size of its audience by moving beyond the Scottish borders, boasts a number of high-quality drama series, including titles like the US adaptation of The Bridge, and Australian dramas Janet King, Rake and The Slap.

With the arrival of STV Player, there are now eight catch-up and on-demand players available on Freeview Play devices across the UK. STV Player joins the likes of BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK and Horror Bites. Freeview has over 10 million devices sold in the UK.

“At Freeview we are always striving to deliver the best possible free to air viewing experience. The launch of STV Player nationwide means Freeview Play is now home to eight on demand players, giving viewers all the most watched shows, all for free,” said Owen Jenkinson, Marketing Director, Freeview.

As well as automatic installation on Freeview Play, Virgin Media TV 360, FreeSat and YouView, STV Player is also available to download UK-wide on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Roku streaming set-top boxes, NOW and via Chromecast. STV is available in Scotland on Sky TV hardware, but not UK-wide. Although STV Player is looking to expand again in recent months. 

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