Freeview Play Gets A New Channel: PBS America Player

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Freeview Play, the broadband-based on-demand Freeview platform, is getting a new on-demand entertainment service/app: PBS America Player.

While the linear version of PBS America already exists as a channel on Freeview, Freesat and other TV platforms, PBS America Player will be their first free catch-up player, and will only be available on Freeview Play (for now, at least).

The player will be home to a wealth of documentary, factual, and arts content exclusively for Freeview Play users.

PBS America Freeview Play app


PBS America is home to the best of America’s Public Broadcasting Service, with a rich factual schedule including landmark history series by Ken Burns (Vietnam War, Jazz, The Civil War), FRONTLINE’s in-depth current affairs investigations and NOVA’s science documentaries.

Freeview Play viewers will be able to catch up on content from the PBS America linear channel, as well as enjoy on-demand box sets such as The Civil War and Country Music.

New Freeview Play 2022 mockup

Freeview Play is a platform that combines over-the-air Freeview channels with over 40,000 hours of on-demand content that you stream via the internet.

The platform also provides convenient integration between the apps and the Electronic Programmes Guide (EPG), letting you jump straight from a listing on the EPG into the programme on the relevant streaming app (such as BBC iPlayer).

Unlike the “linear” version of Freeview, which only requires an aerial and a Freeview tuner (either on your TV on via a set-top Freeview box), Freeview Play also requires an internet connection.

To watch Freeview Play, you also need a compatible Smart TV or a set-top box, such as the Manhattan T3-R.

Manhattan T3-R
Manhattan T3-R Freeview Play Recorder

Once you have everything connected, both Freeview and Freeview Play are free to watch, without any monthly subscriptions (though you would still need to pay the TV Licence in most cases).

PBS America’s app is the eleventh player on the Freeview Play line-up, joining BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Legend, STV Player, POP Player, and BBC Sounds.

Freeview Play smartphone and tablet 800
Freeview Play App

It’s worth noting that Freeview Play (both on TVs and on the Freeview smartphone app), doesn’t do any streaming of its own – instead, it’s a hub that shows you content recommendations and shortcuts that lead to each broadcaster’s own streaming app, such as BBC iPlayer and or All4.

The PBS America player will automatically roll out on Freeview Play devices and will be accessible
via the Explore Freeview Play interface (which recently got a facelift) at Channel 100.

As the UK’s “fastest-growing TV platform”, with over 10 million users, launching onto Freeview Play is the channel’s biggest step into the streaming world.

Deep Halder, Chief Commercial Officer for Freeview Play, said: “We are thrilled to be PBS
America’s launch partner in the UK.

“We are now home to eleven on-demand players, with over 95% of the UK’s most watched programming, alongside new exclusive titles, all for free. There has never been a better time to become a Freeview Play viewer.”

The linear version of PBS America (without the on-demand player) is available on Freeview Channel 84, Freesat Channel 155, Virgin Media Channel 273 and Sky Channel 174.

PBS America is also available as an Amazon Prime Video Channel, for £3.49/month, with a 7-days free trial.

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