The satellite service, part owned by the BBC and ITV, has been expanding its connected TV platform Freesat Freetime, which already offers optional pay TV content streamed via broadband from providers including Netflix and Wuaki.tv.
The BBC's involvement in the platform meant that any further loosening of the rules had to be reviewed by the BBC Trust. With the restrictions on allowing paid-for sports streams on the platform lifted, Freesat is now able to progress discussions it's been having with content providers.
Discovery (Eurosport), BT and Sky (through Now TV) could now offer their services as an optional extra to Freesat Freetime box owners, without Freesat users having to acquire a separate box or dongle for streaming services.
Importantly, the core free-to-air satellite TV service will remain free to all customers and users of the connected service on Freetime boxes will not be obliged to sign up for any pay TV service. Freesat will not manage any subscriptions, with viewers subscribing directly to the third-party content provider and not Freesat.
Alistair Thom, Managing Director of Freesat said:
"This is a really important development for Freesat which will significantly impact our content offering. We’re here to provide a compelling subscription-free TV service, and believe our viewers should have the option to watch a wide variety of TV programmes and events without being tied down to a contract. We will continue innovating to provide a brilliant, subscription-free service for our ever-growing number of viewers.”