Freesat sees solid start to 2016

Freesat today reports a solid start to 2016 as it continues to enhance its content offering and build international partnerships.

The number of homes connected to Freesat by both satellite and broadband is up by 54% year-on-year. This is due to customers choosing to complement their linear free-to-air TV viewing with on-demand services, such as the recently launched Wuaki.tv – which provides the latest films on a pay-as-you-watch basis – together with the major free catch-up players, BBC iPlayer, All4, My5 and ITV Hub. Last month Freesat was also cleared by the BBC Trust to offer live pay sports services.

The number of homes with Freesat remains steady at 1.93 million, with sales of connected set-top boxes up 18% year-on-year. Despite a declining TV market, Freesat’s most recent partnership with LG has continued to boost TV sales as more consumers choose to buy TVs with satellite tuners. More than 4 million viewers tune into the platform each week, where they can access over 200 TV and radio channels, including 12 in high-definition, with Channel 5 HD and Daystar HD added this year.

Freesat is also pursuing further opportunities to partner with international operators, with a view to helping them integrate linear television with broadband on-demand services. So far, Freesat has partnered with Irish broadcaster RTÉ to deliver a new product for Saorview, Ireland’s free digital television service. Selling internationally will further advance Freesat’s strategy, making it easier for content providers to launch their on-demand applications across various regions and free-to-air platforms.

Alistair Thom, Freesat’s managing director, said:

By adding more quality channels and on-demand services to our subscription-free platform, we’re able to offer consumers an attractive alternative to expensive TV contracts and hefty bills. As always, we’re focusing on giving customers choice to watch the TV they want and plan to bring even more channels and players to the platform in the near future.

29 thoughts on “Freesat sees solid start to 2016”

  1. Interesting that this press release no longer promotes the Freetime sub brand which I think is a good thing (most people don’t know what Freesat is, so Freetime just confuses them further).
    Also regarding the LG TV reference, I recently purchased a 43LF630v model and was pleasantly surprised by on OTA update adding the Freesat EPG. But there was no reference to any kind of satellite tuning on the packaging or user guide which seems a bad omission. LG might sell a few more TVs, or sell them at a higher price if they promoted this facility.

  2. Now the BBC trust is to be dismantled, I wonder how the new BBC board that’s taking over will view the development of Freesat seeing as the government will be appointing half of the members and we all know that the government favours Rupert Murdoch.

  3. The Bbc are committed to freesat it very much fits with the ethos of the BBC and is free (albeit requiring a BBC license fee) at the point of access

  4. Saltydawg said:
    Now the BBC trust is to be dismantled, I wonder how the new BBC board that’s taking over will view the development of Freesat seeing as the government will be appointing half of the members and we all know that the government favours Rupert Murdoch.

    After what I think was a better than expected settlement for the BBC then I actually believe for once the Government has favoured on the BBC’s side and not Murdoch. Let’s not forget though that BBC Three was the sacrificial lamb in all of this.

  5. To a point I agree, but the fact that the BBC trust has been dismantled and 50% of the new board will be appointed by the government worries me. Offcom, a government quango now oversees the BBC and will deal with complaints, it’s record in the past seems very weak and could editorially side with the government of the day when there are complaints about bias. The current news channel is unbelivabley biased toward the government and makes Sky news look like the old BBC.

  6. Sorry to post this in multiple threads, but want to try and ensure Mr Thorn or someone at the BBC sees it.

    All the paid for stuff is fine, but what about the principle that it’s FREE sat.

    How, about the BBC running a free sports channel or putting sport on BBC 4 rather than having it closed for most of the day.

    Sky have given up Extreme as a pay channel. Surely an opportunity there to either tempt them to join Freesat or if they’re not willing to pay the £30K platform fee, for the BBC to either buy some of the most exciting sports content content for BBC 4 eg the surfing, some fmx, mx, kayak, outdoor and Free Skiing, or alternatively for the BBC to run a dedicated Extreme Sports channel.

    Yep I know the BBC has budget issues. However, there’s scope for changes to BBC 4 without the cost of a whole new channel.

    I also agree with Saltydawg, BBC News seems very biased to me. In the recent Euro reports, there appears to be lots of coverage of pro European stories but almost no coverage of the Leave campaign. eg. The newspapers have recently reported the following big stories: EU to reportedly abolish NHS: http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/666769/save-nhs-eu-referendum-brexit-doctor-warn-Angus-Dalgleish , Cameron to spend £2 BN UK Taypayers Money to help Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro join the EU : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/26/david-cameron-accused-of-risking-national-security-by-helping-fu/ , EU to sue UK over lorry tax on foreign drivers: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3559086/Just-weeks-Brexit-vote-European-Commission-announces-plans-sue-Britain-unfair-road-tolls-foreign-trucks.html . All massive stories but although I don’t watch the BBC news, the headlines are usually the same as on the Teletext service and I’ve not personally seen any of these huge stories mentioned, which if a true reflection of the reporting, (I can’t guarantee for sure I haven’t missed anything), strikes me also as bias towards the government, irrespective of your position on the vote.

  7. I have always believed that the licence fee is a tax and therefore the BBC is, and always has been an arm of Government. This will not change until it is paid for by voluntary subscription and/or advertising.

  8. Al (Original) said:
    Sorry to post this in multiple threads

    So don’t then. You’ve made your point.

    Al (Original) said:
    I also agree with Saltydawg, BBC News seems very biased to me. In the recent Euro reports, there appears to be lots of coverage of pro European stories but almost no coverage of the Leave campaign. eg. The newspapers have recently reported the following big stories:

    You cite one story from the Daily Express and one from the Daily Mail – hardly shining examples of journalistic excellence and certainly not worthy of being entitled to automatic BBC News coverage.

    The BBC is often accused of bias, but the accusations often come from both sides of the debate. Take the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 for example – both sides fiercely claimed BBC bias.

    Personally I prefer the Channel 4 news as it’s more in-depth but you need to remember that the BBC News have a tough remit and I think they do a pretty good job all things considered.

  9. BBC News do a good job but Channel 4 news is also best with me. Of course RT is available on the platform to provide an alternative viewpoint!

  10. The S4C HD parameters if anyone wants a look before it’s added to the EPG next month:

    11307 H 27500 5/6 DVB QPSK The channel name is currently 55296.

  11. Paul. said: A reshuffle of some of the channel numbers to plug the gaps in the EPG.ITV/STV/UTV HD has moved from 119 to 111, making room for Be+1 to move to 119 placing it next to Be on 118.
    There are more changes on the way, all detailed here:
    http://www.a516digital.com/2016/05/freesat-channel-reshuffle-june-2016.html

    Why didn’t they take the opportunity to move the other +1 channels, so that they could be along side their ‘live’ channel.

    e.g.

    Food Network+1
    Travel Channel+1
    ITV4+1
    More>Movies +1
    Pick+1, ………..

  12. gopher said: Why didn’t they take the opportunity to move the other +1 channels, so that they could be along side their ‘live’ channel.
    e.g.
    Food Network+1
    Travel Channel+1ITV4+1
    More>Movies +1
    Pick+1, ………..

    If you had looked at the information on the link that I attached to the previous post you’d have seen that this is going to happen for some channels that you list. However, Freesat cannot impose changes on channels that do not want to move, and channels will not move to a higher (by which I mean a bigger number which is worse, in their eyes) EPG number to benefit another broadcaster so there isn’t room in the EPG range to accomodate all channel pairs together.

    Under the conditions of their constitution Freesat cannot discriminate in favour of one broadcaster over another, and as there were not two spare EPG slots in the 118/119 area Freesat cannot force all of the channels from other broadcasters on 120 and above down one EPG slot to worse numbers in order to make room for another ITV channel. ITV must believe that the number of additional viewers gained by putting Be and Be+1 together is greater than by putting ITV4 and ITV4+1 together so chose to co-locate the Be pair.

  13. Hi Paul, yes I did see the post….

    but those changes doesn’t happen until this week.

    Paul. said: If you had looked at the information on the link that I attached to the previous post you’d have seen that this is going to happen for some channels that you list.However, Freesat cannot impose changes on channels that do not want to move, and channels will not move to a higher (by which I mean a bigger number which is worse, in their eyes) EPG number to benefit another broadcaster so there isn’t room in the EPG range to accomodate all channel pairs together.
    Under the conditions of their constitution Freesat cannot discriminate in favour of one broadcaster over another, and as there were not two spare EPG slots in the 118/119 area Freesat cannot force all of the channels from other broadcasters on 120 and above down one EPG slot to worse numbers in order to make room for another ITV channel.ITV must believe that the number of additional viewers gained by putting Be and Be+1 together is greater than by putting ITV4 and ITV4+1 together so chose to co-locate the Be pair.

  14. CNN International HD can be manually tuned on Freesat boxes.

    Astra 2G
    Frequency: 11112 H
    Symbol Rate: 22000
    FEC 5/6
    Service ID 50290
    Standard: DVB-S, QPSK

  15. There is a new hidden Freesat 4K / UHD demo on channel 998.
    You’ll need a 4K TV with a Freesat satellite tuner built in to view it. I’ve tried it on my Panasonic and picture quality is incredible.
    The question is, why is it there?
    Are the BBC planning a BBC UHD channel as they did with the BBC HD channel back at the early days of Freesat?

  16. NatTheGooner said:
    There is a new hidden Freesat 4K / UHD demo on channel 998.
    You’ll need a 4K TV with a Freesat satellite tuner built in to view it. I’ve tried it on my Panasonic and picture quality is incredible.
    The question is, why is it there?
    Are the BBC planning a BBC UHD channel as they did with the BBC HD channel back at the early days of Freesat?

    I can’t see it on my 4K TV, must not have the HEVC Codec in it.

  17. I only got mine last November and it has the HEVC. It is amazing to watch but it’s just a 15 minute loop so you’re not missing out on much. I’m interested in what it could mean (if anything) for the future…

  18. Chris Guest said:
    http://advanced-television.com/2016/06/27/bbc-readies-for-uhdhdr-transmissions/

    …sorry, just read Chris’ post above.
    That’s great news! After watching a series in 4K HDR (on Amazon) I would love to see something like Wolf Hall in HDR via Freesat (or iPlayer). My TV and almost all new 4K TVs only support the HDR10 standard so if the BBC have their own Hybrid Log standard for HDR would it work with existing HDR TVs?

    4K on its own would be great via Freesat because not everyone can get the broadband speed to stream it – similar reason to why Freesat was ever launched in the first place – to get better TV coverage to areas that struggled to get digital TV through an aerial. That would be another string to Freesat’s bow – want UHD content but don’t have fibre broadband – get Freesat!

  19. Still really happy with freesat but seems to have gone quiet 🙁

    But I have heard BIKE channel is coming soon….

    Hopefully HOME channel or DAVE will join still.

  20. Freesat didn’t see ITV Be HD unknown happened some why? Freesat two missed channels show like Quest and Quest+1 both nothing they bit more information that service programming when future.

  21. Admin ano your busy….

    But do you know if freesat have a team of people who contact channel owners or do they wait till channel company’s go to them ??

  22. Dan said:
    Admin ano your busy….
    But do you know if freesat have a team of people who contact channel owners or do they wait till channel company’s go to them ??

    Dan (or Dave as you use to call yourself), Freesat do actively reach out to broadcasters, but ultimately the decision is down to them individual.

  23. Admin.
    Thanks for reply I’m dan but me and my partner use same email address and sorry for asking and did sound abit patrenising but won’t add any posts again thanks for allowing me though could you close for me.

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