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Mobile Apps

Free-to-air TV channels come to mobile with Freeview app

Foxtel is already there, the streaming services have been doing it for years, but now free-to-air TV is finally coming to your phone.

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Freeview

Free-to-air TV is playing catch-up with the streaming services and making its way into the 21st century with a new app that will allow you to watch free-to-air channels live on your mobile.

From November, the free Freeview FV app will let users stream more than 15 free-to-air channels, both live and on catch-up, with the ability to browse and search for shows and use the free-to-air TV guide.

It's a necessary step for traditional broadcast TV, which has offered Australians mobile streaming before now, but only on a channel-by-channel basis. To get the full complement of free-to-air channels, Australians had to download individual apps -- ABC iView, SBS OnDemand, 9Now, Plus7 and TenPlay -- creating a higher barrier to a streamlined viewing experience.

But even with all the channels coming under one roof, Freeview may have moved too late to give Australians the full free-to-air experience.

Telstra has already swooped in to pick up exclusive digital rights to the AFL for the next five years (2017 - 22), meaning Freeview users will likely not be able to watch AFL games on their mobile using the Freeview FV app.

Freeview did not comment on the AFL specifically, but a spokesperson told CNET that the "live sport will be available through the app if a broadcaster has the digital rights for mobile."

We can expect more details closer to the November launch. Either way, the app is still welcome news for TV fans who want to be able to switch between episodes of "Modern Family" and "My Kitchen Rules", without having to download a different app every time.