Last Rites for Freeview On Demand

This will be the last Christmas for Freeview On Demand.

Freeview has announced it will be closing the free streaming service late next year, which is not surprising given TVNZ’s already removed its on-demand content from the platform and ThreeNow presumably will migrate to a Discovery-only service with the pending merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia.

Even more tellingly, Jason Foden resigned this year as Freeview chief executive and now works for Sky as its Chief Digital and Innovation Officer.

Here’s the media release:

Freeview to sunset its On Demand service by late 2022

Freeview is preparing to end one of its free services, Freeview On Demand, by late 2022.

Originally launched in 2015, Freeview On Demand has been offered as an addition to Live TV and is integrated into Smart TVs, connected set-top boxes and recorders. It currently provides access to free on-demand content from ThreeNow, Māori Television and RNZ.

Once it ends, viewers will no longer be able to watch on-demand shows through Freeview; but as they currently do with TVNZ OnDemand, they can still enjoy them across ThreeNow, Māori+ and RNZ, wherever they are available.

All popular free-to-air channels will also continue to be available through Freeview, as Live TV is unaffected by this change. Freeview and its shareholders are fully committed to strengthening the future of free-to-air TV in New Zealand, ensuring Live TV continues to be a mainstay and is easily accessible for all.

Viewers can keep watching all the channels they know and love – live and subscription-free. Other Freeview features will also remain accessible, such as the recording of Live TV and the Freeview TV Guide.

For most viewers, the end of the Freeview On Demand service will mean a simple change. The same range of local and international shows they enjoy will still be available on-demand, just accessed on broadcasters’ own apps or websites.

Freeview will work with those broadcasters over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition from Freeview On Demand to their apps, so viewers can continue to enjoy their favourite programmes on-demand.

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5 Responses to “Last Rites for Freeview On Demand”

  1. This is so backward. We need to regulate the industry and force the broadcasters to collaborate together on one no-fuss app. I’m so angry they are pulling the plug on this venture. Is the LIVE streaming part with the Freeview dongle still going to be available?

  2. Should do, Leo. Only the on-demand content is affected, not live viewing or streaming.

  3. I regularly used the Freeview on-demand app/functionality, but I suspect I was in the minority unfortunately. I found it very convenient, but the broadcasters obviously want to have stronger control over their own content marketing (while trying to pretend there are no other viewing options in the NZ market 😀 )

  4. I actually tried it out once. Was just as bad as broadcast TV. EG, low picture quality and audio.

  5. Good riddance. Limiting it to smart TVs was a mistake from the beginning. On demand services need to be available on TV, mobile, desktop.

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