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Jul 20 2010

Freesat have confirmed their projection of reaching 2 million sales by 2012; showing the continued growth of the free satellite based platform.

Q1 2010 results show Freesat increased their figures by 108,000, accounting for a 34.3% share of the market during the period January to March this year.

Though not released yet, Q2 2010 figures would suggest a similar increase to achieve a confirmed 1.25 million sales to date.

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67 Responses to “Freesat Target 2 Million Sales By 2012”

  1. Andy E Says:

    I was an early adopter of Freesat primarily for the HD content, however with Freeview HD and only 2 Freesat HD channels (apparently due to lack of narrow beam satellite capacity which can’t be resolved easily), I wonder what the future holds for the platform or whether Freesat will just become a ‘niche’ product for those areas that can’t receive Freeview HD?


  2. admin Says:

    Bandwidth is nothing to do with sadly; more a case of their being a high profile viral satellite based platform that can tempt broadcasters to be exclusive with ‘encryption’ that by far out-weighs advertising revenue alone.


  3. Keith Says:

    At the time of digital switchover in this region – (Wales) – we opted for Freesat in preference to Freeview because of various reasons, mainly recommendation by engineers regarding the better reception offered.
    We are disappointed however that some of the Freeview channels are not available on Freesat. We can still see these programmes through our TV set but we cannot record them without paying-out for a Freeview recorder. It would be nice if these programmes -(Yesterday, Dave, Virgin etc.) – could be added to Freesat’s broadcast list.


  4. admin Says:

    Those channels cannot be added for the same reason given above (comment #2). Sky have those channels tied into subscription only on satellite. Remember that Freeview via aerial don’t have any competitors and restriction of access is harder, so those kind of channels will always be readily available on that platform.


  5. bruce Says:

    I am a freesat user simply because as yet I cannot get freeview. Once digital switch over is completed the platform is going to have to offer something extra and above freeview to keep users like me, as it is currently doing with HD and iplayer.


  6. steven valentine Says:

    Being not for profit I think and hope they achieve 2m sooner to show others to come over
    to freesat than pay tv this only can be good news for us as viewers.


  7. Simon Says:

    I’m another early user of Freesat and have been very pleased with my Humax recorder and Freesat in general, however, I will be moving to Freeview HD once the new HD recorders have had a chance to iron out any early problems. I have an HD TV and want as much HD content as possible with out paying a subscription, I feel this is going to come from Freeview and sadly not Freesat.


  8. admin Says:

    For the next year or two providing you are in the right region, but after that, the likelyhood is that Freesat will then have more HD channels as Freeviews bandwidth can only cope with 4-5 HD channels maximum.


  9. aybeeseaa Says:

    Always be positive and nothing wrong with that.

    But a target is a target – not an achievement.

    We know how it works. Let’s hope it works for Freesat (I would like the individual HD channel choice after all this time).

    Not looking good for the BBC at the moment.



  10. Llew Says:

    well I have both freeview and freesat and are happy with both. There are channels I like on Freesat that aren’t available on freeview and vice versa so it’s no hardship for me to switch over from freeview to freesat when I want to watch something on Freesat and again vice versa. But yes admittidly there some rubbish channels on Freesat but also on freeview too and the same can be said for Sky I won’t be paying for some of the rubbish sky show like GOLD. The only thing worth watching on Sky is the sports channels but SS1 and SS2 will soon be available on TUTV so I may consider paying for them on TUTV


  11. aybeeseaa Says:

    “Freesat MD Emma Scott says “Hitting 1 million sales is a significant milestone for Freesat and gives us a great foundation for further growth, specifically with the millions of UK homes that have HD TVs but no HD service.”

    “From ITV plc, interim Chief Executive John Cresswell adds “We’re delighted with Freesat’s success – a million sales in less than two years is a terrific achievement. Freesat is an important distribution platform for ITV, providing our audiences with next generation free HD service…”



  12. Jerry Says:

    How does Freesat measure its “sales”?
    The receivers are manufactured/sold by third parties.
    My initial Goodmans box gave up after 1 year – completely dead, but I then went for a Humax HD. So am I one “sale” or two?


  13. admin Says:

    Two sales; they use manufacturer/distributor figures, there is no other way.


  14. aybeeseaa Says:

    Manufacturers and distributors are entirely different business entities with diverse roles in the sales and marketing chain.

    Additionally, unless there’s a mandate for these entities to supply such data (tick a box each time one is sold), then sales figures must be taken with a very large pinch of salt.



  15. admin Says:

    The majority of the sales information comes from when the manufacturer but others use distributors to handle their stocking levels and this information is also reported so all manufacturers are covered; they are all tied into agreement to supply such data to Freesat, though Freesat only provide basic figures to ofcom for the quarterly reporting.


  16. lawrence pearce Says:

    Would be interesting to know how many Freesat viewers there are. It is possible that the figure could be little more than a million, given that some of the boxes recoded as sales will have failed or stopped being used. Plus I guess there are a good number of viewers who own more than one Freesat receiver,TV or PVR.
    Surely the viewers figure is the important one, and there must be some proper estimates out there?


  17. aybeeseaa Says:

    If we have both manufacturers AND distributors tied into such a reporting agreement, there’s gonna be “double bubble” accounting – you can just imagine it – or, if not, then the manufacturer/distributor interface separating out that reporting must be a nightmare.

    Quangos. Who’d ‘ave ’em?



  18. admin Says:

    There is no duplication, just that some manufacturers use their own internal systems for distribution, whilst others assign a distributor to act on their behalf.

    We are not talking distributors whom sell to retailers here, but the agents acting behalf of the manufacturers.


  19. Tim K Says:

    I’m an ex-Sky subscriber. We’ were with Sky for about 10 years and recently gave up our subscription after buying a HUMAX HD box last October. The HUMAX epg is muich better than Sky and programs do not suddently drop off the series link. The clash detection and alternative oifferings is much better. However it is a shame that Freesat seem to be limited in what channels they can offer at the moment. More importantly otther channels are available on a standard Freesat box but outside the FreeSat epg. (you’re either in Freesat mode or not).A simple solution would be to allow the two to coexist side by side. Admitedly the content is dubious, but it all goes towards Sky being able to say we have x100s of channels. We cannot currently recieve anything other than satellite so Sky or FreeSat are our only options. p.s. our now defunct Sky Box still recieves Fiver and FiveUSA.


  20. Robin F Says:

    Further to lawrence pearce (16) comment.

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of those sales are still in the UK and how many have found their way across the channel. I live in France and can account for 3x Humax sales and know a huge amount of other ex-pats that also have multiple box’s. If you took out of the equation all units that have found their way to mainland Europe I wouldn’t be suprised if there are less than 1 million users in the UK.


  21. aybeeseaa Says:

    Manufacturers, agents, distributors, retailers. Confused?

    You will be – after the next episode of “Let’s Tell Ofcom”.



  22. admin Says:

    No confusion here, I know the channels all the figures come through. All you need to know is that each individual sale counts as one and isn’t duplicated; albeit counted within that figure is distribution figures for units not yet sold.


  23. Sparky Says:

    I seriosly have my doubts Freesat will survive another 2 years.
    No one in the right mind would pick it over Freeview HD from a starting point. only 1.5 HD channels ! I know Freeview can only have a max of 4,but there must be something wrong in the way it’s run, that even my local s4c are in HD on it.


  24. Robin F Says:

    I may be wrong and will gladly be corrected by someone more knowledgeable but I though that Freesat was launched primarily for people who could not receive Freeview after the digital switchover. I assumed that everyone who could receive digital services would automatically choose Freeview as the default and the only reason Freesat came into being was to justify the BBC’s licence fee.


  25. Tony Hales Says:

    Freesat is here to stay. Come back here in five years and see which service has the most HD channels. It won’t be Freeview.
    There are two HD channels with another two available (STV&Luxe) at the press of a few buttons.
    BBC One HD is coming later this year making five in all.
    There are 117 TV channels as opposed to 30(ish) on Freeview unless your on a relay transmitter where there are 15(ish)
    There is BBC iPlayer as opposed to no BBC IPlayer on Freeview.
    Freeview will be the default because all new TV’s have it built in however not all areas are covered by Freeview hence the reason we have Freesat. It’s about having universal coverage once the digital switchover is complete.


  26. aybeeseaa Says:

    @24 You’re wrong

    @25 Red button services excluded from Freesat – listen to the exclusion announcements.

    Five years? Please don’t make us all laugh together. Some of us have been there. For two years so far.

    I entirely support 117 channels of “Buy a granny a flat at some auction and fill it with someone’s attic contents whilst watching out for UFOs” programming.

    Now I’ve thought about it, maybe I don’t.



  27. Neil Says:

    @23 – Freeview’s capacity, or lack of, will be an embarrassment for the platform five years from now. Freesat will have BBC1HD in the autumn, as will Freeview, so the only difference will be C4HD.

    I find it amazing how people think a platform will ‘fail’ simply because it has, or will have, one less HD channel than another!

    Ofcom could easily give Freeview lots of HD but instead they’ll flog off the frequencies to the highest bidder! Read the 600MHz consultation and it basically says that Freeview’s limitation on a third HD multiplex (if it’s ever awarded for this purpose) is around 80%, I guess the second from 2012 onwards will only have a similar figure so that extra 18.5% needs filling by other means – satellite.

    My personal belief is that in 10yrs from now most people will be watching via Satellite (or cable) as it’s the only platform that’s going to have enough expansion. Freesat will do an important job in ensuring it’s simply not Murdoch who controls all PSB and commercial broadcasting via Satellite! Why do you think Sky are worried so much about Freesat!!


  28. aybeeseaa Says:

    Having had the “privilege” to live through several technological changes in many sets of “10 years”, I admire the stragetist who can forecast what lies ahead in another 10 years time.



  29. Tony Hales Says:

    They have already reduced the quality of SD Freeview channels to cram in 3 HD channels. What a joke.
    It didn’t/dosen’t take a genius to forcast that DVD would replace VHS or that HD TV will replace SD TV. When that happens Freeview will be looking very limited in capacity.On Freeview some of the (so called) channels are shared with other (so called) channels and broadcast for two hours a day but are 24hrs on Freesat.
    When buying a house most people look for the one with the most potential same with technology and I don’t see that potential with Freeview. BTW does anyone know if they have sorted the Freeview HD surround sound debacle yet?


  30. aybeeseaa Says:

    It takes a genius to forecast that mechanically-driven media (optical or magnetic) will be replaced by solid-state technology. Or does it?

    As for bandwidth constraints, they’re a given. Just please, anyone, don’t waste the bandwidth on rubbish.



  31. Neil Says:

    Rubbish makes money, i.e. slapper on the sofa channels! On Freesat there’s plenty of bandwidth for that and all the decent stuff too. To name a few channels there’s no ITV3+1, ITV4+1, Film4+1 on Freeview either. If ITV decide to run with ITV1+1 in the future Freeview will most likely loose ITV2+1 too!


  32. aybeeseaa Says:

    Why are “+1” channels needed in the PVR age? Is any of it worthwhile anyway?

    Bring some quality content to our screens.



  33. Neil Says:

    Yes they are, I often watch +1 variants as at most times of the day offer a different viewing option to that particular channel.


  34. aybeeseaa Says:

    A one hour variant of something that’s going to be repeated ad infinitum anyway.

    If something’s good enough “not to miss”, I’ll buy the “box-set”. A great thing about PVRs is you can skip through the “ab-press” and other much-needed adverts.

    BTW has anyone noticed that +1 really means -1?



  35. Kevin Ver1 Says:


    Not everybody has PVRs, me included. I often watch the +1 channels. It is very useful when there are conflicting programmes I want to watch! Even if I had a PVR I still think it is useful to have the +1 channels especially if you forget to record a programme,


  36. aybeeseaa Says:

    I’ve never understood why one would buy a satellite box without PVR functionality.

    As for catering for customers who forget to record a programme on a PVR, that’s hardly a sound basis for a business model even if an apparent “service” is being provided at the expense of bandwidth which could be better used to deliver higher picture quality and sound dependent upon contractual limitations.



  37. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @abc 36



  38. Jon Says:

    +1 channels are also handy for people with PVR’s, sometimes recordings clash so need to record the +1 variant to get around this.


  39. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    It is also very useful for people who are delayed getting home and would have missed the beginning of a programme. Also it is nice to be able to watch programmes I would have missed on a regular basis because of the normal time I get home.

    Expanding on the cost issue, boxes with PVR functionallity are significantly more expensive. In addition some people may have a TV with Freesat receiver who would need to purchase a separate PVR. Lastly you need more than one satellite feed so more cost for a quad LNB and cabling.


  40. Gaz Says:

    Shows often clash that l want to record so the +1’s come in very handy thankyou Abc!! Oh & do you work for Sky by any chance as l’ver never read anything positive from you?


  41. Neil Says:

    Glad I’m not alone in supporting the +1 variants. I like watching Channel 4 News and if I’m not back in at 7pm can watch it at 8pm instead!

    Now that Richard Desmond has taken control of Channel 5 (no longer to be called ‘Five’) we may possibly see the appearance of a Channel 5+1, also potentially the arrival of it’s two spin-off variants on Freesat. Depends whether Dirty Des sways towards or away from Sky.


  42. aybeeseaa Says:

    Recordings clash? There’s obviously more to record than meets the (certainly mine) eye.

    Are there still people who don’t record TV?

    As for cost, even on this page you can buy a PVR for £50 more than a straight receiver which may be a deal-breaker for some.

    My ancient dual LNB system works just fine with Freesat PVR and Freesat TV and if you need one you can buy a brand new quad LNB for a tenner.

    Please note that +1 channels are (unfortunately) available on all UK digital platforms.



  43. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @ ABC 42

    Whilst I agree a dual LNB is sufficient many folks out there only have a single LNB and replacing a LNB is not the sort of task the average punter can do themselves. And before you say you have replace a LNB by yourself I have done just that, but I would not recommend others doing it. I would expect it would cost in the region of £50-£100 depending on the location of the dish.

    Also I would question the only £50 more for a PVR box. If you look at boxes from the same manufacturer the price difference is closer to £80.

    And finally TV stations do have a habit of either showing a load of tripe at the same time or showing all the good programmes simultaneously.


  44. Neil Says:

    @43 – fully agree. Having a selection of normal and +1’s means you literally have two versions of that channel to watch with different programming if you’ve just simply plonked yourself in front of the TV to see what’s worth watching. Freesat offers more timeshift variant channels than Freeview in that respect.


  45. Paul D Says:

    For those who have not worked it out, I will bet my life that ABC is actually the famous Derek500, who was banned here.


  46. Gaz Says:

    I have to say abc is starting to bore the tits off me & l’m sure l’m not alone ;-P


  47. John Hereford Says:

    @46 Gaz – I fully agree with your sentiments. It’s funny that the one question not answered by aybeeseaa was to yours @40 “Do you work for Sky, by any chance?”.


  48. Tony Hales Says:

    I doubt if we will see any more Richard Desmond channels on Freesat. He may even pull the existing channel to save the £30K (or not). Sky will pay up and he will pocket the cash. Would we want them anyway?


  49. aybeeseaa Says:

    Oh yes sorry missed the IMPORTANT question. I DO NOT work for Sky nor for FreeView, I just abhor incompetence and low quality.



  50. Big Adam Says:

    While the rest of us abhor trolls.


  51. Pete Brant Says:

    Back in May 2010, I purchased from B&Q a Ross HD Digital reciever, model number HDR-6110USB,plus dish, and all connections, and to this day I have been unable to recieve any signal,it’s a good job I have got free view. I am a 70 year old pensioner and my days of running up and down ladders have gone.


  52. admin Says:

    @Pete Brant

    That isn’t a Freesat product, just a cheap brand receiver and satellite kit. It will no doubt work if correctly aligned, but may be a bit fiddly if your not familiar with the setup nor have any signal finder equipment.


  53. Kevin Ver1 Says:

    @51 Pete

    You also have to make sure that you have a clear line of view to the satellite ie no trees in the way. There are sites such as which are useful for finding a good location to fix a dish to a home. There is also a useful app on the iPhone that can be used to determine the direction a satellite dish should be pointed.

    Ideally the cable from the LNB to the receiver should be continuous as joints will result in signal degradation Not only does the elevation of the dish matter but the skew of the LNB is important. And remember do up the bolts tight enough to prevent strong winds shifting the dish out of position.


  54. bazm Says:

    As someone prior to Freesat who only had 4 (at best) channels I find it an amazing product. Most people I know who have sky complain about the cost, the rubbish channels, repeats and the poor epg. Most have not heard of Freesat or given it a second thought. I would like to see more of the music fta come over to Freesat. I also like the diversity that channels such as Euronews give us. I also like the ability to remove stuff that I will never watch such as tele-shopping and religion.

    Oh and aybeeseaa is clearly sitting at home all day, prob on benefits whilst the rest of us work – obvious by his condescending remarks about +1 channels. A keyboard warrior and pub bore


  55. saltydawg Says:

    Agree with 54, I have converted many friends to thr true Freesat, not Sky’s version. I also agree with Big Adam, I abhor trolls too 😉


  56. aybeeseaa Says:

    “Clearly” I use my “benefits” wisely that’s why I can’t afford to go to the pub and can’t afford Sky.

    And though I would no longer have Sky either (and haven’t done for many years), I remember its EPG being far from poor.



  57. cid Says:

    @24 “BBC One HD is coming later this year making five in all” please explain 5 hd’s to me i get itv hd which has 40% ish hd content and bbc which runs 12 hrs 50%, how is bbc any different that bbc1?


  58. Tony Hales Says:

    @57 You can get STV-HD and Luxe HD in non EPG mode. When BBC1 HD starts in the latter part of 2010 that will make five HD channels that you can get with a Freesat box.


  59. Tony Says:

    Hi Cid ,
    At the moment BBC HD shows mainly the best programmes from BBC 1 & 2 . When BBC 1 HD starts this chaanel will be just for BBC 1 only so the other BBC HD channel that you are watching now will more than likely cover the best programmes from BBC 2/3/4 with also coverage from live events . The other HD channels are

    ITV 1
    Luxe HD & STV HD available to add through your epg
    BBC HD

    Coming Soon

    BBC 1 HD
    4 HD

    and possibly

    QVC HD.

    Hope this helps..


  60. Richard Crichton Says:

    2 million by 2012 seems a rather modest ambition for a thrusting organization like Freesat. Is 2011 an exceptionally short year or something like that :-)

    Any idea why Talksport don’t list their Freesat channel on their DAB data display when they display every other platform that they are on. Admin?


  61. Neil Says:

    I think they’ve pitched the 2 million at a comfortable figure they can be confident to achieve, reckon in reality they’ll (hopefully) be closer to 2.5 or 3 million based on recent sales figures. 1.25million from under 1 million since January isn’t bad at all!


  62. Alan Says:

    It will be interesting to see if the fact you can now get Sky Sports via BT and TUTV if it will affect the sales of Freesat


  63. sandra mcnally Says:

    i would like it if freesat hd box bye 2011 april got more new channels for freesat like eden channel


  64. alex Says:

    @tony 59, Don’t forget trhat Channel 4 is still a state owned commercial broadcaster and if they place all their channels in HD on freesat on a soft access coding then channel 5 might follow suite. this would mean that certain channels in HD are viewable on FREESAT and not $KY.

    This would give FREESAT a strong oppertunity to reach 2 millian by chrismas 2011, if not then easter 2012. If this happened then ITV would have to bring all of their HD channels onto FREESAT in shame. Other broadcasters such as UKTV, DISCOVERY and MTV might follow suite.


  65. Paul Says:

    and there was me (1 year ago) thinking if i bought a “HD ready” TV (which i did Sony) it would be ready to recieve HD…now i have to buy a HD freeview or freesat box what a con..more would’nt buy a car that was ready to go..then find you had to pay extra for the wheels!!!..should be a trade description complaint..are we back to betamax/VHS, bluray/HD 4, track/8track. I give up…have a nice day out there..


  66. simon neve Says:

    freesat are liars all hype about new chanels such as bravo living etc cbs reality only thing worth watching as then i just use my freeview im going back to top up tv or just pay out for full sky service again cos freesat and freeview gonna get worse


  67. admin Says:

    @simon neve

    Freesat never promised those channels; suspect you might just not have done enough research when deciding on a platform!


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