In a conversation between James Atkins, Freesat Trade Marketing Manager, and DigitalSpy, Freesat have admitted to problems in the past with product availability and that stock is “now fully available”.
We’ve made comment on here a number of times following readers emailing us experiencing problems obtaining stock, and until now Freesat haven’t really acknowledged that it has been an issue and the reasons why. Stock when Freesat initially launched back in May 2008 was hard to obtain, in both SD and HD formats; then in late 2008 Humax were unable to meet the high demand of the Freesat+ (FOXSAT-HDR) receiver.
Following on from early 2009 until around May 2009, access to standard-definition stock from the only manufacturer (Harvard Group – Grundig, Bush, Goodmans) was difficult due to Harvard not wanting to commit production without firm orders. James Atkins confirms this fact by stating that Freesat didn’t have a commercial involvement in the availability of manufacturers stock at that time;
We were outside of that loop, so a lot of the stock issues were due to retailers not knowing how successful Freesat was going to be and manufacturers not wanting to take a risk in terms of production, [...] There had to be a bit of history in terms of sales for them to order with confidence, safe in the knowledge that the products were going to sell through. So it was very well documented that we were very light on SD and HD boxes, and even a few weeks where we were completely out, which was very frustrating