FreeSports widens footprint to TVPlayer, but no movement on Virgin
By Simon Ward
FreeSports, the new free-to-air sister channel of UK pay-television broadcaster Premier Sports, today went live on TVPlayer, the online television platform.
A stream of the channel is now available to all viewers on TVPlayer across various devices, including desktop computers, mobiles, tablets, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV and other set-top boxes.
Scott Kewsley, the chief operating officer of TVPlayer, which attracts more than 1 million viewers per month, said: “We are really excited to welcome FreeSports to the TVPlayer service. FreeSports complements our ever growing list of free-to-air channels and provides our customers with a way to access the only free dedicated sports channel in the UK on their favourite devices.”
FreeSports can already be viewed in around 18 million households via the Sky, Freeview, FreeSat, TalkTalk and BT TV platforms, but is not yet accessible on cable operator Virgin Media, which has nearly 6 million customers.
FreeSports told Sportcal today: "They are still deciding if and when to carry the channel. A Virgin customer recently started a petition which has slowly got some traction."
The petition, which has so far attracted more than 2,000 signatories, can be viewed at https://www.change.org/p/add-the-freesports-channel-to-virgin-media-uk.
A high-definition version of FreeSports will launch, initially on Sky, this June, the channel said.
FreeSports launched last August and is offering more than 1,000 events a year, a majority live, from sports including soccer, rugby league, wrestling, basketball, tennis, ice hockey, motor sports, mixed martial arts, cricket and speedway.
Recent acquisitions include the British Basketball League and the playoffs from the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League.