Freely Channel List Revealed: No Match For Freeview Yet

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The full channel lineup for Freely, the eagerly awaited free TV platform, has just been unveiled – and it might leave some viewers feeling short-changed.

At launch, the broadband-based platform that aims to potentially replace Freeview and Freesat in the future, will feature channels from only five main broadcasters – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and STV.

This limited selection falls short of the expansive range many hoped would transform their TV viewing experience, especially with Freely’s promises of a seamless blend of live and on-demand content.

Freely on a TV

As we take a closer look at what’s included and what’s missing, let’s assess whether Freely can still live up to its potential despite these initial shortcomings.

What Is Freely?

For those who missed our previous coverage (go here for a comprehensive list of Freely’s features and plans), Freely is a new venture from Everyone TV, the company behind Freeview and Freesat.

It aims to bridge the gap between traditional aerial-based TV and modern broadband-based streaming channels, and eventually become a broadband-based replacement for Freeview and Freesat.

Freely devices will work with both broadband and aerial connections, providing viewers with a unified Electronic Programmes Guide (EPG) that seamlessly combines over-the-air and IP-based channels.

The platform will initially be available on Hisense’s 2024 UHD TV line, followed by availability on Vestel TVs.

Plans to expand to other devices are in the pipeline, though set-top boxes and TVs produced before 2024 will not support Freely at this stage.

Freely’s Launch Lineup: A Mixed Bag

One of the most anticipated aspects of Freely has been its promised extensive lineup of streaming channels.

However, the initial offering may disappoint some viewers. At launch, Freely will only feature streaming channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and STV.

Even Freeview Play, the current broadband-based aspect of Freeview that has been around for several years, supports a broader selection of streaming and on-demand content.

This means that many of the smaller Freeview channels will not be available on the broadband-only version of Freely on day one.

Freely’s representatives have stated that “Right now, you can enjoy 95% of the UK’s most-watched shows, and we’ll be adding even more channels in the coming weeks and months.”

While this is encouraging, it doesn’t change the fact that, at launch, the broadband-only Freely experience will miss most Freeview channels.

It’s worth noting, however, that if you connect an aerial to your Freely TV, you will have access to all the over-the-air channels currently available on Freeview, in addition to the broadband-based channels.

This hybrid approach ensures that viewers won’t miss out on any of their favourite Freeview channels, even if they’re not yet available via streaming.

However, it also means an aerial and good reception in your area will still be needed.

Plus, the DTT (over-the-air) channels will not support any of the more advanced features, such as Live Pause or programme restart.

Regional Variations and Quirks

One curious aspect of Freely’s channel lineup is the presence of regional variations. Some channels are only available in certain regions, while others have different channel numbers depending on the viewer’s location.

This feels a bit redundant in the world of broadband streaming, where geographical limitations should be a thing of the past.

Freely could have taken this opportunity to make all regional channels available to everyone across the UK, offering viewers a more comprehensive and diverse range of content.

However, it seems that the platform has chosen to stick with the traditional regional model, at least for now.

BBC News on TV screen 1200

On the bright side, Freely users will be able to change their region settings fairly easily via their TV’s settings menu.

This means that if you’re curious about what’s airing on a regional channel from another part of the country, you can switch your location and tune in without much hassle.

Freely’s Streaming Channels List

 Here’s the full list of TV channels available via broadband on Freely:

BBC One1
BBC Two2
STV3 ✓**  
Channel 44 
Channel 55
Channel 48   
BBC Scotland8   
BBC Three10
BBC Four11
BBC Scotland63 
BBC News301
BBC Parliament302
* Border region only
** Outside Border region only

Freely will also include a long list of radio stations available via broadband:

BBC Radio 1601
BBC Radio 1Xtra602
BBC Radio 2603
BBC Radio 3604
BBC Radio 4605
BBC Radio 5 Live606
BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra607
BBC Radio 6 Music608
BBC Radio 4 Extra609
BBC Asian Network610
BBC World Service611
BBC Local / Regional Radio 1*612
BBC Local / Regional Radio 2*613
BBC Local / Regional Radio 3*614
BBC Local Radio 4*615
BBC Local Radio 5*616
BBC Local Radio 6*617
BBC Local Radio 7*618
BBC Radio Scotland692
BBC Radio nan Gaidheal693
BBC Radio Wales694
BBC Radio Cymru695
BBC Radio Cymru 2696
BBC Radio Ulster697
BBC Radio Foyle698
BBC Radio Berkshire699
BBC Radio Bristol700
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire701
BBC Radio Cornwall702
BBC Radio Cumbria704
BBC Radio Derby705
BBC Radio Devon706
BBC Essex707
BBC Radio Gloucestershire708
BBC Radio Guernsey709
BBC Hereford & Worcester710
BBC Radio Humberside711
BBC Radio Jersey712
BBC Radio Kent713
BBC Radio Lancashire714
BBC Radio Leeds715
BBC Radio Leicester716
BBC Radio Lincolnshire717
BBC Radio London718
BBC Radio Manchester719
BBC Radio Merseyside720
BBC Radio Newcastle721
BBC Radio Norfolk722
BBC Radio Northampton723
BBC Radio Nottingham724
BBC Radio Oxford725
BBC Radio Sheffield726
BBC Radio Shropshire727
BBC Radio Solent728
BBC Radio Solent Dorset729
BBC Radio Somerset730
BBC Radio Stoke731
BBC Radio Suffolk732
BBC Radio Surrey733
BBC Radio Sussex734
BBC Radio Tees735
BBC Three Counties Radio736
BBC Radio Wiltshire737
BBC Radio WM738
BBC Radio York739
*You’ll receive up to seven relevant local services between channels 612 & 618, which may vary depending on your region.

Stay tuned for more updates on Freely’s launch and development, and don’t forget to Subscribe to our free newsletter.

17 thoughts on “Freely Channel List Revealed: No Match For Freeview Yet”

  1. Freely in name and freely by nature,I will stick to the quality programming and pay a bit extra, they’ve even launched it on a crap television system, makes you wonder why??????

  2. The trouble I suspect with Freely is the fact that its entering a market that is saturated with other live channels and streaming services, that theres no market for it, unless it develops its own studio-based content like Netflix and Amazon. We have entered a new age where these companies are fighting for its customers by marketing its own branded content, but they know that they cant do this alone with subscriptions and they do rely on advertising. It seems to me that we are going backwards and choose to watch live tv without having to pay for subscription…well…maybe thats not altogether true…there is the BBC TV Licence to consider.

  3. Since it’s only currently for those buying a new TV and more channels “will be added over the company Ng weeks and months, while in the meantime you can get the other channels overy Freeview, then the “disappointing” launch tag seems overdone.

    How many people will this really effect before more channels are added? Better to get it out there and build on it rather than waiting for other channels to come on board

  4. How can Freely be said to have launched if the Hisense TVs don’t seem to be on sale? Searching Argos, Currys, Amazon and AO for ‘freely’ draws a blank.

  5. None of the promotional splurge from Freely mentions the lack of recording facilities or ad skipping.

    Are they just naive or are they just keeping their fingers crossed that viewers will forget all about doing away with adverts.

    And in the meantime, thousand upon thousand of new Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony and other brand TV’s pour out of the shops every day with most purchasers noit even aware of Freely.

  6. Freely is very disappointing. Limiting it to certain brand new TV sets is a mistake. As an app compatible with all major streaming devices it could be a viable alternative to Freeview and Freesat, but not in its current form.

    I’d be interested to know more about issues such as time delays (latency) vs Freesat and Freeview as this would have implications for events such as live sport.

    At the moment, TV Launcher with an Apple TV and linked apps is better.

    • Totally agree. Apple TV app and Firestick app would have got this out to the masses quickly and been better for the environment.
      Gotta hope these come asap as it’s silly to get people to throw away their TV to get access to a streaming app.
      Or open up freely and let community developers build apps for TVos etc.

    • I agree,if it was available on Google Play store or Amazon it could have an impact, but like every else in the UK what America does today we do in another 5 years


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