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May 01 2013

Freesat, the UK’s free-to-air digital satellite television provider today announced very strong 2012/13 results as the company celebrates its fifth birthday next week. Having added c.150,000 homes in the last 12 months, Freesat remains the UK’s fastest growing established TV platform, and continues to outgrow Pay-TV rivals.

According to Freesat’s own customer research*, 51% of homes that joined the free TV service in 2012/13 were from Pay-TV rivals. The research also indicated that just over 25% of homes are considering changing TV service provider in 2013, and of these, 60% are being driven by the desire to save money.

Emma Scott, Freesat’s Managing Director commented:

Freesat is truly a TV platform of choice. Our consistently positive results demonstrate fantastic growth and a strong appetite for high quality, good value TV, in a challenging economic environment. The success of our <free time> service with its cutting edge TV Guide and on-demand services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and YouTube, gives yet more sensible reasons to switch to Freesat.

Everyone of us across the UK is continually reassessing how we spend our money, and with 79% of viewing across all platforms, including pay, going to free channels, and 52% going to the top 5 channels – having a monthly TV subscription just doesn’t make sense for most people.

Freesat has now sold 3.2 million units, far exceeding original sales projections and taking total gross retail UK sales to £1.2 billion since launch in May 2008.

Freesat will grow the <free time> features over time, including a remote record app for smart phones and tablets as well as the introduction of additional movie and music services.

– Freesat added c.150,000 homes in the last 12 months, more than both Sky and Virgin Media combined
– This included 29,000 new Freesat homes in latest quarter, Jan-Mar 2013
– 51% of Freesat customers switched from Pay-TV in 2012/13, the majority from Sky
– Freesat now in 1.7 million homes, c.6% of UK homes
– Total unit sales of 3.2 million since launch five years ago
– Gross retail UK sales to date of £1.2 billion with particularly strong sales of the new hybrid <free time> box

28 Responses to “Freesat confirms strong 2012/13 results”

  1. al catraz Says:

    Well done freesat! The more homes watching Freesat, the more advertising revenue & hopefully the more channels…

    Any idea where the 6% of UK homes sits compared to the other platforms and do you think there’s a “trigger” percentage when other broadcasters would suddenly want to get onboard?

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  2. Robert Says:

    They should do Ireland As well because a lot of people over here has got rid of Sky for Freesat

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  3. Keith Cobby Says:

    This is excellent news and I congratulate everyone at Freesat.

    Hopefully, this will provide further encouragement for more channels to broadcast in HD.

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  4. Neil Says:

    Great news for Freesat, I’m really glad to see these figures and the success behind them. The team at Freesat need a pat on the back for the hard work they’ve done on what is close to Freesat’s 5th birthday.

    Over the last couple of Months the momentum of additions appears to have picked up a fair bit too with some higher profile channel additions, particular the ex-pay Box TV defected channels. I realise they are only music channels but pay channels that have gone FTA and all joined Freesat within a Month, not bad going as I never predicted they’d move that quickly to get on-board.

    HD-wise we’re likely to see CNN HD and Arise News HD which should join the platform at some point, I have a sneaky feeling we could even finally see Channel 5 HD as there’s an encrypted unlabelled service on the BBC’s second HD transponder which doesn’t appear to be opened up with either a pay or FTV level card. Could this be Channel 5 HD?

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  5. Muzer Says:

    “According to Freesat’s own customer research*”

    Where’s the footnote (or am I just blind)?

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  6. martin Says:

    Not forgeting the join freesat web site they played a big part in this as well I v learned more about freesat on this site than anywhere else well done admin and well done freesat

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  7. admin Says:

    martin said:
    Not forgeting the join freesat web site they played a big part in this as well I v learned more about freesat on this site than anywhere else well done admin and well done freesat

    Thanks Martin. This website needs a full overhaul when I get the opportunity!

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  8. Keith (original) Says:

    Well done Freesat! Many, perhaps most of us have (at least, mildly) criticised Freesat for their rather lackadaisical marketing, but nevertheless, somehow (?) it would appear to be working rather well. In all honesty, I’m not quite sure how they are gaining recognition, since the majority of people appear not to be aware of its existance. Hopefully, at some future point this will result in generating a sufficient budget to allow advertising on the scale of Freeview. That will make things very interesting judging from those stats.

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  9. Keith (original) Says:

    martin said:
    Not forgeting the join freesat web site they played a big part in this as well I v learned more about freesat on this site than anywhere else well done admin and well done freesat

    Absolutely!

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  10. Neil Says:

    Perhaps with these new figures it might tip UKTV in to having serious thoughts on the question of adding their FTA channels whenever contracts permit?

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  11. Dan Says:

    UKTV might as well make Blighty FTA as soon as they get the chance, as that channel could desperately do with an extra chance for viewers! I know many would like to see dave, yesterday & really, but I think Sky will be very desperate to keep them exclusive on satellite, particularly the HD versions!

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  12. Alison Fairgrieve Says:

    People unaware of Freesat ;- I belong to about ten online survey panels to earn a little pocket money. Until very recently the questions on which digital TV platforms are used referred only to Freeview and Sky. Now it appears to have dawned on survey designers that Freesat exists. I still resent the loss of HBO drama hijacked by Sky. I see that heavy advertising of this is being done, presumably to tempt people to subscribe. It is unlikely to work.

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  13. alexander Says:

    Dan said:
    UKTV might as well make Blighty FTA as soon as they get the chance, as that channel could desperately do with an extra chance for viewers! I know many would like to see dave, yesterday & really, but I think Sky will be very desperate to keep them exclusive on satellite, particularly the HD versions!

    If UKTV do bring all of their channels to FREESAT, they can keep the HD channels that they already run on FREESAT and work on the rest of the channels.

    If UKTV joins then channels from DISCOVERY might just join.

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  14. Kuergun Says:

    Well done Freesat…!!
    I’m never bored with Freesat there are always something to watch and it’s FREE..!!! But then I believe ALL TV should be free after all there are plenty of Adverts to pay for it..!! Also I STRONGLY believe that any Pay-TV should NEVER show adds for two reasons 1) It deprives Freesat getting more money from adverts thus resulting in less choice and quality. 2) I feel it should be made illegal for a Pay-TV company to take money to provide TV shows or Sport and having the payer (subscriber) watch TV adverts. I know for a fact that Canal Plus (France) only put adverts on at the free time watch period but when encrypted there are no Adverts..!! The same presentation like Canal Plus should be enforced here It might let us see some more sport and TV shows on Freesat..!! Okay there may be more adverts but hey it’s still Free..!!

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  15. Neil Says:

    Alison Fairgrieve said:
    People unaware of Freesat ;- I belong to about ten online survey panels to earn a little pocket money. Until very recently the questions on which digital TV platforms are used referred only to Freeview and Sky. Now it appears to have dawned on survey designers that Freesat exists. I still resent the loss of HBO drama hijacked by Sky. I see that heavy advertising of this is being done, presumably to tempt people to subscribe. It is unlikely to work.

    Glad to see surveys have finally woken up to Freesat, I’ve seen many which the platform never gets a mention, this must mean word of mouth is spreading, good news I guess. I think in relation to Sky’s ads they are just to serve to hold existing customers nowadays, I get fed up of seeing them constantly wherever I seem to be, be it billboards, paper leaflets or those annoying blokes stood at stands in shopping centres!

    alexander said: If UKTV do bring all of their channels to FREESAT, they can keep the HD channels that they already run on FREESAT and work on the rest of the channels.
    If UKTV joins then channels from DISCOVERY might just join.

    No chance of the HD channels joining, the SD ones would be good enough for me. I think these results raise the bar on the possibility of that in the medium term.

    Hot off the press this morning, it appears UKTV are launching a new channel on to DTT called ‘Drama’, no word of whether it will also appear on DSAT platforms yet.

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  16. Richard Crichton Says:

    Freesat remains the UK’s fastest growing ESTABLISHED TV platform, and continues to outgrow Pay-TV rivals.

    I take this to mean that YouView is faster growing else why use the word ESTABLISHED.
    Since SKY didn’t add any TV subscribers in the last quarter it wouldn’t be hard to be faster growing than them. As for VM or whatever they call themselves now only available in cabled areas as I understand it so can’t really count them either.

    Spin doctor been at work it seems but good to see the oulook for Freesat is improving. In these harsh economice times it would be suprising if a free service didn’t grow quickly.

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  17. Muzer Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    I take this to mean that YouView is faster growing else why use the word ESTABLISHED.

    Well, maybe. But the fact is that a TV platform with one customer grows by 100% if they acquire another customer – it’s easy for an unpopular platform to be the fastest growing ;)

    Neil said:
    Hot off the press this morning, it appears UKTV are launching a new channel on to DTT called ‘Drama’, no word of whether it will also appear on DSAT platforms yet.

    Yes, I’m intrigued!

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  18. Dave Says:

    The last few posts all seem to be moaning about this ? , I think it’s great news myself least we are getting a mention it the news and we are the top of poll for new customers joining ,

    I’m getting another freesat box at the weekend for the bedroom

    I’ll email this news to UKTV see what they say ?

    Great job join freesat and freesat ….

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  19. Steven Morgan Says:

    Freesat must expand the online streaming services. Youview had now set the standard.

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  20. Neil Says:

    Muzer said: Well, maybe. But the fact is that a TV platform with one customer grows by 100% if they acquire another customer – it’s easy for an unpopular platform to be the fastest growing Yes, I’m intrigued!

    it depends on how you measure growth, whether it be in terms of actual number of homes/unit additions or additions as a percentage of total numbers. In freesat’s case they’ve used new additions.

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  21. Al (Original) Says:

    Neil sNo chance of the HD channels joining, the SD ones would be good enough for me. I think these results raise the bar on the possibility of that in the medium term.

    Unfortunately you are probably correct.

    It’s all going to depend on how much they get from Sky for HD content vs the slot rental vs the advertising revenue potential from Freesat.

    The game changer will probably come when Sky start to do basic HD channels for free, I’m guessing most probably when 4K puts in an appearance and becomes the new HD.

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  22. Al (Original) Says:

    Sorry for slight thread HiJack Ian, but thought this worth mentioning as never seen it mentioned or linked anywhere

    – Freesat have their own feedback forums here:

    http://community.freesat.co.uk/t5/Feedback-ideas/bd-p/letusknow

    It would be great for people who have good ideas to copy their ideas from here to over there as well as that way Freesat get feedback not only from JoinFreesat but also the same views reinforced by their own forums viewers.

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  23. Russ Says:

    With Freesat being the fastest growing established tv service, it is talktalk who claim to be the fastest growing new tv service.

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  24. Neil Says:

    Al (Original) said: Unfortunately you are probably correct.
    It’s all going to depend on how much they get from Sky for HD content vs the slot rental vs the advertising revenue potential from Freesat.
    The game changer will probably come when Sky start to do basic HD channels for free, I’m guessing most probably when 4K puts in an appearance and becomes the new HD.

    I’d be happy to get the SD channels alone, HD-wise UKTV won’t be able to afford to let them go FTA as the economics just won’t stack up.

    Al (Original) said:
    Sorry for slight thread HiJack Ian, but thought this worth mentioning as never seen it mentioned or linked anywhere
    – Freesat have their own feedback forums here:
    http://community.freesat.co.uk/t5/Feedback-ideas/bd-p/letusknow
    It would be great for people who have good ideas to copy their ideas from here to over there as well as that way Freesat get feedback not only from JoinFreesat but also the same views reinforced by their own forums viewers.

    I’m sure freesat read all these comments too as they are very much aware of this site but a good idea I guess.

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  25. Richard Crichton Says:

    So Freesat has added 150,000 homes in the last 12 months. That’s very good but
    taking into account the latest figures from BT and TalkTalk, YouView is estimated to be in around 200,000 homes in the UK as of January 2013 which is 6 months from launch so YouView is growing much faster than Freesat. I have both platforms so have no particular axe to grind but facts are facts and that little graphic at the top conveniently ommits TalkTalk YouView presumably because it’s not an established tv service.

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  26. Neil Says:

    Although youview is a new product, in terms of platform it’s very much a crossover with Freeview but with an on-demand enhanced EPG. The Freeview EPG is identical to that of youview, presumably with enhanced on-demand experiences?

    Sky and freesat, despite coming from the same satellites are exclusively separate EPG’s, inclusion on freeview also means your on youview so I see youview as an extension of freeview if you get my drift.

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  27. Rosco Says:

    Admin – another fta channel testing for Freesat to chase up. Pakistani news channel Geo Tez – on 11427V 27500 2/3 if anyone wants to have a look, although its in what I think is Urdu.

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  28. Neil Says:

    Looks like freesat have tweeted a June launch date for 4OD on STB’s
    http://www.a516digital.com/2013/05/freesat-confirms-4od-launch-imminent.html#more

    There’s also been hints Demand 5 is launching towards the end of the summer, lets hope they stick to these promises!

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