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Sep 16 2009

Freesat have today announced sales of 600,000 in little over a year.

An excellent summer has seen an increase in sales by fifty percent in the last quarter alone, from 400,000 in May to reach 600,000 sales in September; as more and more consumers choose Freesat as their means of accessing free digital TV. To put this into context, BT Vision has reached 443,000 customers since launching almost three years ago.

Freesat’s strong performance is more positive news for the UK television industry despite challenging times. According to a report last month by Thinkbox, the television research and marketing body, TV viewing in the first half of this year was up on the five year average to 26.2 hours a week.

Free-to-air programming is proving especially popular with viewers. BARB figures reveal that nine of the ten top multi-channel programmes between January and June 2009 (non-sport) were available subscription-free on FTA (free-to-air) TV platforms such as Freesat.

Emma Scott, Managing Director of Freesat comments;

To achieve this level of sales and viewing in such a short space of time is a fantastic achievement and testament to the ever-growing appeal of Freesat, both to consumers and broadcasters.

Great innovations such as high definition TV, Freesat+ (digital recording), and a wide range of programming have previously only been available by paying a subscription and are now proving incredibly popular with viewers. Freesat homes consistently rate the service highly, with over ninety percent saying they would recommend to a friend.

We’ve had a brilliant summer and are confident that we’ll continue to report outstanding growth, especially in the run up to the World Cup as we attract viewers that want to watch in high definition but without having to pay a subscription no matter where they live in the UK.

Freesat is also working with the BBC to launch iPlayer in the near future and will be the first wholly subscription free TV platform to offer the award-winning catch-up TV service.

51 Responses to “Freesat Achieves 600,000 Sales Since Launch”

  1. Paul D Says:

    This is great news! I wonder how many of those ditched sky? It seems strange that freesat and sky are reporting huge increases in viewing figures. One of them must be manipulating the figures and I don’t think it is freesat.


  2. Jon Says:

    Why must one of them be manipulating their figures? They can both increase because there are plenty of people out there without satellite tv.

    Hopefully this news will help other channels come to freesat.


  3. Richard Crichton Says:

    Freesat is on track for 1 million sales by the end of the year. The TV’s by Panasonic,LG and now Sony with built in Freesat must help considerably.
    Are there any sales figures available for these Admin?

    When interest rates go through the roof after the election $ky will suffer big time.


  4. Oyodi Says:

    To Jon
    Ch4HD have already said they want to come to Freesat a few weeks ago, but ironically they have been told there is no room at present!!!


  5. admin Says:

    @Richard Crichton

    No specific sales results unfortunately, these are never made available to the public as the manufacturers prefer to retain to ensure a competitive advantage. What will eventually appear is the ratio of SD to HD.


  6. Allan Says:

    This is great news for freesat. But they need to up their game before Freevew HD starts. As HD is one of their big selling point. And it’s looking more and more like Freeview will soon has more HD channels.


  7. Bruce Says:

    I recently got a freesat box when my housing association upgraded the communal areal, they also installed a dish as when digital switchover takes place here is West Yorkshire the booster transmitter in the Emily Moor group I receive from (Halifax) will only have 18 freeview channels after 2011. Until I got the freesat box I could only get four analogue channels here. The point is people are also getting freesat in areas like mine covered by booster transmitters who will not get the full freeview service after switchover. The HD service is not the only reason why people are getting freesat boxes that is those people who are unlikely to also get a full freeview service after switchover


  8. Lee B Says:

    Any solutions to the lack of space on 2d yet? Freesat seemed confident they were going to sort it.


  9. Jon Says:

    To Oyodi, yeah I was aware of that. I’m hoping that some of the channels which are currently FTA but not on freesat, come over to freesat.


  10. Dave Says:

    This is my first post guys. I was a Sky subscriber, but I recently cancelled my subscription due to the ever increasing cost. I’ve invested in a Humax Foxsat Hdr which is connected to my Sky dish and I am very impressed. I think it’s excellent news that there’s now 600,000 Freesat users, but there’s a definite need for more channels and for the price of the equipment to fall so that we have an advantage over Freeview.


  11. Groomy Says:

    Very good news indeed. Congratulations to all at Freesat and this site for making it such a wonderful product. I am hoping for an even more productive 6 months now with CH4HD, BBCi Player and a few more HD channels coming onboard to make it a serious alternative to $ky.


  12. kieran Says:

    The switchover isn’t taking place until 2012 for me, atm i only have terrestial but
    I’m just about to buy the humax foxsat so you can make that 600,001


  13. Martin Says:

    Freesat are reporting number of units sold – not number of customers. Personally I own 4 Freesat boxes (one of which is not in use). I don’t know how Sky or BT Vision work their numbers for multi room subscriptions. Also, some sky customers could be buying Freesat boxes for use in 2nd or 3rd rooms. The reality is 600,000 sales for Freesat does not have to equate to 600,000 cancellations @ Sky.

    Still either way a steady increase in sales is good news for Freesat and if it continues up it is more attractive and better value for money for advert based channels to be on the EPG.


  14. James Says:

    Hopefuly now that more and more people are getting freesat, and big name tv manufactors are putting freesat built in to their products there might be more channels (real channels not shopping channels) comming. If the rate of people with freesat is getting even higher before long 1 million people will have it and then 1.5 million and so on.
    But I still wonder is freesat even trying to get anymore channels? Have they just givin in? They seem to be so hush hush on the subject of new coming channels. I and many others fear that they are just going to add music channels, radio channels and worst of all more shopping channels. A few of them is okay. I belive they are trying to reach their target of 200 channels and are not botherd of what they now add.


  15. Snoods Says:

    I wouldn’t be too bothered about what type of channels i added to my service at £30,000 a pop for an EPG entry whether it be another shopping channel or not £30,000 is £30,000 LOL


  16. derek500 Says:

    What months do these figures relate to?

    The last sales published on here in June were for Q1 2009 with a cumulative total of 350,000.

    Were Q2’s sales ever published? And Q3 hasn’t ended yet!!


  17. admin Says:

    The figures are up to September, presumably releasing a mid-quarter because the 600,000 mark has been reached. We never saw the Q2 figures as Freesat only mentioned the 400,000 mark on the anniversary but it was expected to be around 450,000 by end of June.


  18. Sam Says:

    They keep saying they don’t have any space left, but why add channels that no want to watch, AKA shopping channels!


  19. admin Says:


    How is that relevant to this post? Freesat don’t make the decision over channels available, the broadcasters do; and all these channels, no matter what you think of them personally, are contributing towards the continued running of the service, so are important from that aspect.


  20. Paul D Says:

    Dont you just love the Derek and Nigel show that we get over on digital spy and to some extent on here?

    Whenever freesat is praised they are out in force to pee on the parade, while bizarrely championing SKY, which is not in competition with freesat in any shape or form.

    They remind me of waldorf and statler from the muppet show, only not as funny,


  21. Denis Says:

    Paul D – Well said.


  22. Richard Crichton Says:

    $ky? Isn’t that where you pay to watch adverts every five or six minutes?

    Freesat is not in competition with $ky and never has been or will be, it is for people who cannot get Freeview due to their geographical location. End of.


  23. Jon Says:

    It may have been set up for people who cannot get Freeview, but it is not the reason I got it. High Definition and more choice of channels are what swayed me. I still have freeview but barely use it.


  24. Al Catraz Says:

    Paul D (20) – yep – mildly amusing reading their biased twist on life, isn’t it?

    Jon (23) – I also got freesat for the early access to HD and occasionally flick back to freeview for virgin/$ky3.
    BBC HD has some fantastic wildlife programmes on at the moment and the occasional offering from ITV (like to footy last night) is icing on the cake.
    More, BBC, more… (ditto ITV if/when you can afford it!)


  25. Al Catraz Says:

    I see the beeb have responded to all those who have moaned about bit rates:


  26. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    Jon (23) – “more choice of channels are what swayed me”
    Same here and also I liked the channels selection better. The only missing ones from Freeview that grab me are Five US and maybe Virgin 1.


  27. Denis Says:

    Well it seems the BBC has defended the HD quality issue very well.
    As I have said before I really cannot see what all the fuss has been about.


  28. James Says:

    Before 2010

    CBS branded channels will launch on channels 135, 136, 137, 138 and 139.
    Zone Romantica, Zone Reality, Zone Thriller, Zone Horror and Zone Horror +1 will close on channels 135, 136, 137, 138 and 139.


  29. peterhb Says:

    For those of you who are happy with BBC HD as is, continue enjoying it.
    I find the current picture standard significantly poorer in quality thanit used to be.
    Whatever the reason, be it a changed encoder or altered bit rate and whatever the overriding purpose behind the change the outcome is a poorer picture. I mourn the passing of BBC HD


  30. Richard Crichton Says:

    Really superb stunning HD will never be broadcast. Even Blu-ray is not as good as it should be.
    These are just intermediate standards on the way to 2kx4K quad HD.
    You ain’t seen nothing yet.


  31. Paul D Says:

    Richard, what is the point of quad HD on domestic TV’s???

    I have a 768p LG television and I sit about 7 feet away. I can’t see the individual pixels. How on earth am I going to percieve this extra resolution?

    Resolution does not need to increase, only improvements in bitrates and encoders is needed for broadcast TV.


  32. Richard Crichton Says:

    Not everyone has a tiny 42″ TV Paul. I have a full HD projector and 100″ screen and sit 7 feet away.


  33. Paul D Says:

    Richard, 42″ TV’s are the most popular size of new TV sold in this country, they are not tiny. Most people do not have projectors or room for projectors.

    I suggest you try specsavers if you need to sit 7 feet away from a 100″ screen.

    Do you have something small that you are using your screen to compensate for?


  34. Alex Says:

    I would just like to add that i have a 42″ Pioneer Plasma TV, but i also have a projector for my bluray player and movies that come on bbc hd. Which is 120″ !!!!

    I dont use it for general tv, unless i have just watched a bluray on it, and then watch the 10 o’clock news.

    42″ is a good size for a tv, i’m not sure what richard is on about saying its small?


  35. Denis Says:

    Richard – You will actually find that you are viewing far too close to the size screen that you have got. It is also obvious that the closer to the screen you sit that the quality of the picture looks poorer.

    There are in fact some schools of thought that say if you have a screen 26″ or below that it is difficult to see any difference between HD and a good standard SD picture.


  36. Richard Crichton Says:

    Paul. No need to get personal but I think its you who should go to Spec Savers if you can’t see the pixels on your 42″ TV from 7ft away. The more pixels the better. Why else would there be 10 mega pixel digital cameras now when they were 2 mega pixels before? You can’t see the pixels in a 2 mega pixel picture. Your argument is flawed. I am well aware that 42″ is the most popular screen size for TV. I was just kidding when I said it was small but everything is relative. Video CD looked ok on the 14″ sets of the past, then DVD looked great on the 33″ sets available when it first came out, now Blu-ray and so called HD TV is available but is it really good enough for 60″ and above screens?
    I think not. When everyone has rebought all their favourite films that they had on DVD on Blu-ray something with twice the resolution will come out. Call it Violet- ray. As for so called HD TV its a joke especially BBC-HD. Infact I don’t know how they have the nerve to call it a HD channel now. Its all a big con.


  37. AndrewM Says:

    QuadHD will probably be relevant for Blu-ray (obviously requiring a new revision of the standard, but you could use the same physical disc structure etc.) but I seriously doubt anyone will be broadcasting it in at least the next 10 years or so. Nobody’s even broadcasting 1080p yet! Of course it could come over VOD…

    Also as has said before, I rather doubt that most people will be able to tell the difference between 1080p and QuadHD on a normal-sized TV at a normal viewing distance.


  38. Paul D Says:

    Richard it sounds like you have fallen for the megapixel marketing gimmick. You are absolutely right that you don’t need more than 2megapixels for general use, in fact the quality of lens is far more important than the number of pixels. But if manufacturers allowed the gullible public to be happy with 2megapixels then how would they sell people a new camera every 2 years?

    It is a scam. Manufacturers want people to buy new TV’s more than evry 10 years, which is a time period that most Tv’s can easily last for.

    This 1080p lark is done so that mugs who already have a perfectly adequate 720p TV go out and buy a new one.


  39. derek500 Says:

    @ Denis “There are in fact some schools of thought that say if you have a screen 26″ or below that it is difficult to see any difference between HD and a good standard SD picture.”

    When I’m travelling I watch HD on a 19″ Samsung. The SD/HD difference is like night and day.

    As always, it’s screen size versus viewing distance.


  40. Denis Says:

    derek – only quoting. Fair enough.
    I think, which I am sure you will agree, there are so many variables in all this. TV size, quality of TV and as you say viewing distance. Fianally and the most important factor of the lot, that as far as I know has never been put forward on here, is the standard of vision of the viewer.

    So really when we discuss the various merits of the quality of HD picture we are all looking at it from different perspectives. I suppose what it all comes down to, is irrespective of whatever the quality of the picture is, it does’nt really matter if the individual is happy with what they see on their TV.


  41. Al Catraz Says:

    Denis – good point about standard of vision. I know that since the arrival of my new HD TV and freesat I’ve started wearing my glasses to watch (especially HD programmes), and I guess have become more aware and more critical of slight imperfections in picture quality, whereas in the past I wouldn’t have cared or noticed because I didn’t have my glasses on anyway!


  42. Al (Original) Says:

    Great news.

    Really great news when you consider that Freesat receives no real advertising and very rarely even gets a mention before a programme mirrored on BBC 1 SD is shown.

    Its kind of the relative you’re ashamed of, swept away and hidden under the carpet but its still growing at a phenomenal rate. Have to wonder what its popularity would really be like if the BBC Trust put as much into advertising it as they do Freeview.


  43. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    Al (Original) – I emailed Freesat recently and asked about the lack of advertising and one or two other things. They didn’t comment at all on the lack of advertising. My guess is that they probably won’t advertise again until there are some significant developments.


  44. Denis Says:

    Al Catraz – As an optometrist friend of mine said “you need HD vision before you can appreciate HD TV”


  45. Richard Crichton Says:

    38 Paul D.
    So are professional photographers who use 20 megapixel and upwards cameras all being conned then?


  46. Denis Says:

    Richard Crichton – I support Paul D in his arguement. The point I believe he is trying to make is if you have a 6×4 print from a 2 megapixal camera and the same print from a 20 megapixal camera, there is very little difference to the human eye. It is only as you increase the size of the print that the difference become clear. I have a 4 megapixal Olympus camera and achieve excellant results that are good enough to the human eye.

    That is the point really, the human eye can only detect so much detail and it does reach a point where it may be better quality but the eye cannot detect it.


  47. Paul D Says:

    Richard, I never mentioned proffesionals. I said for general use. Pro’s use all kind of things that we don’t use. You don’t see the general population using broadcast quality video cameras do you?

    Why would a member of the public need a 10 megapixel camera?


  48. Richard Crichton Says:

    Paul wrote,’Why would a member of the public need a 10 megapixel camera?’

    Perhaps he wants to blow up his photograhs to 4A0 or 2A0 size?


  49. Paul D Says:

    Richard, the general public don’t tend to do that do they. Most people get their 6×4 prints and are happy. But they haven’t got a clue that the 67 billion pixel camera they were sold wasn’t required to produce a 6×4 print.

    Let’s face facts, there are a substantial number of people in this country who think they are watching in HD simply beacuse they bought a HDTV. They are actually watching a freeview box connected via scart.

    The gullible public will forever be shafted by electronics manufacturers.


  50. Freesat Sales Figures – Q2 2009 | Join Freesat Says:
  51. Ernest Saberton Says:

    my panasonic tv has one hdmi socket but i use that for humax box but i need another for my pansonic recorder can i split the hmdi cable. if so how? Thank you


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