After losing widespread Freeview coverage, the community and volunteering-focussed Together TV has soft-launched a streaming service.
The launch paves the way for millions of viewers affected by Freeview changes to continue watching the channel through streaming in the coming weeks.
Together TV’s Chief Executive Alexander Kann confirmed the streaming service is due to fully launch on several connected TV platforms in the “next few weeks and months”.
For now, the service is already live on PCs, laptops and mobiles/tablets through apps for Android and iOS.
Current highlights include Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens, Julie Walters’ Coastal Railways, Alan Titchmarsh with Britain’s Best Back Gardens, Hairy Bikers Comfort Food and Wild Cornwall.
At the end of March, Together TV lost widespread Freeview coverage as a result of wider changes on Freeview to accommodate new commercial services.
Until June, it has limited Freeview coverage on channel 83 before the multiplex that carries the channel is closed.
The streaming service is expected to allow Freeview Play users to continue accessing the channel 24/7 regardless of terrestrial coverage limitations.
Together TV is also available on Sky channel 170, Virgin Media channel 269 and Freesat channel 164. These outlets won’t be affected by Freeview changes.
Together TV on-demand: Features
- Live Stream
- Continue watching: Pick up where you left off with the continue watching playlist.
- Personalised recommendations
- Genre search
- Build personalised playlists
Together, formerly known as The Community Channel, has been on Freeview for nearly 20 years.
Operated as Community Benefit Society, Together TV is like no other TV channel in the UK. It doesn’t have regular carriage contracts like those enjoyed by public service or commercial channels. Instead it relies on capacity donated by its supporters.
As a result, its availability on Freeview and its broadcast hours have fluctuated considerably over the last two decades. Since 2018, there has been sufficient capacity to carry most of Together TV’s schedule on a widely available Freeview multiplex. This changed in 2022 as new services arrived on the platform, triggering Together TV’s move to multiplex COM7. COM7 has lower overall UK coverage and will close in June to make way for 5G.
Since rebranding as Together TV, the channel particularly targets an older, female audience. Selected programmes were previously available through My5. But last year, My5 began to pull third-party content from its platform.
Together TV’s streaming service was developed in conjunction with Red Bee Media and Nowtilus.
Alexander Kann, Chief Executive at Together TV, commented:
“We are proud to launch this brand-new service that allows our viewers to enjoy Together TV’s inspiring shows and documentaries for free, anytime and anywhere in the UK. In addition, we hope this platform will help viewers to feel good and connected to the world around them. We selected Red Bee Media based on the company’s service delivery expertise, market understanding and as a good company to work with. We’re delighted to have worked so closely with Red Bee Media and Nowtilus who have both worked tirelessly to help us reach this soft launch. We are also grateful to all our partners who have worked with us to help inspire the nation to do good for themselves and their communities.”
Steve Russell, Chief Product Officer at Red Bee Media, said:
“With Together TV and Nowtilus, we have created a one-of-kind, innovative streaming experience for UK consumers. Supporting our customers to explore different models as they strive to carve out market share in a rapidly evolving media industry underscores the Red Bee Media strategy. We are delighted to be working with the Together TV team to bring this exciting new offering to viewers.”
Leander Carell, Co-founder and Managing Director of Nowtilus, added:
“With a variety of use cases including Live-Linear, VoD and Catchup, Together TV leverages the power of our Serverside.ai dynamic ad insertion platform with their prestigious and purpose-driven content.”
By Iain Hatton, features writer, RXTV
Updated 04/05/2022 with corporate statements from Together TV, Red Bee Media and Nowtilus.