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May 06 2013

Happy Birthday FreesatFreesat celebrates its fifth birthday today and continues to be the biggest growing television platform in the UK.

Here are a few Freesat statistics for you:

- Over 3,200,000 Freesat sales from over 100 different models of receiver, now in 1.7 million homes, circa 6% of UK homes
- 500,000 visitors to the www.freesat.co.uk website each month (average)
- 4,943,000 visitors to the www.joinfreesat.co.uk website to date
- @freesat_tv now has over 7,100 followers and over 6,200 facebook fans
- @joinfreesat has over 500 followers and over 4,500 rss subscribers
- Over 190 individual channels now available on Freesat with 6 HD channels
- Contributed over £1.2bn to the retail market since launch

Freesat highlights of the past year:

- May 2012 – This Morning, Sherlock and Educating Essex are amongst those taking top spot in the Freesat Awards 2012
- May 2012 – Manhattan release revised standard-definition receiver
- July 2012 – Channel 4′s new channel 4Seven launches
- July 2012 – BBC announce strong Olympics coverage
- August 2012 – Channel 4 confirm cover of Paralympics on freesat
- September 2012 – Rumours continue to rise of an eventual Netflix launch
- September 2012 – Freesat launches new TV guide called
- September 2012 – Fashion One launches exclusively on freesat
- October 2012 – Humax first to release receiver
- October 2012 – Freesat television ads appear
- November 2012 – Freesat launch their community forum
- December 2012 – Pick TV, Challenge TV and Sky News arrive
- January 2013 – ITV goes under the knife with rebrand
- February 2013 – Russia Today becomes the sixth HD channel on freesat
- March 2013 – Youtube joins the existing on-demand services
- March 2013 – The Travel Channel and Viva join freesat
- April 2013 – Music invasion with Kiss, The Box, Smash Hits, Kerrang!, Heat and Magic making an appearance
- May 2013 – Freesat announce strong sales results to beat the rest

Happy Birthday Freesat.

47 Responses to “Happy Birthday Freesat (5 Years Old Today)”

  1. steven1w Says:

    Happy birthday, look forward to the next 5 years

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  2. Al (Original) Says:

    Happy Birthday Freesat!

    You just need to get Freetime boxes sold through broadband providers now as well – talktalk are installing nearly 10,000 Freeview Youview boxes a week:

    http://www.cable.co.uk/news/talktalk-revenue-falls-despite-youview-growth-801534623/

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  3. Al (Original) Says:

    I should have added there are millions of broadband users with satellite dishes out there, the only question is how to get them to vend the service without charging extra for the content / bandwidth as they currently do on Youview.

    Maybe a kickback from the box manufacturers?

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  4. Andy Bell Says:

    We’re getting close to the stage when it’ll be possible to start turning Freesat into the free tv platform of choice – and not just a fill in for Freeview Light areas.

    We can already say Freesat’s better than Freeview for news channels, HD, movies, music and children’s channels. With 4 Music almost certainly on the way things can only get even better.

    Of course, the absence of UKTV is a sore. But at least this is partly balanced out by the CBS channels, the extra plus ones and the like.

    But the key thing is it only takes another couple of improvements – UKTV or a bit more HD – before it might be possible to start promoting Freesat as a step up for people who can get the full Freeview service. My own view is that in the long term Freesat could become the principal way of broadcasting free to view television and that terrestrial will exist principally for the public service channels.

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  5. Ian Vallender Says:

    happy birthday freesat 5 years old today but what to look for in the next 5 years? more HD channels maybe ultra high definiiton tv (4k) transmissions and 4k freetime boxes who knows?

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  6. alexander Says:

    Andy Bell said: Of course, the absence of UKTV is a sore. But at least this is partly balanced out by the CBS channels, the extra plus ones and the like

    It would be nice if FREESAT could obtain art and culture channels simular to ARTE in europe. If EUROSPORT was to follow then maybe UKTV will send in the chennels.

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  7. Neil Says:

    Happy birthday freesat. The platform’s come a long way in five years and in particular made some impressive gains in the last 12mths alone channel-wise. All we need now is 5HD and potentially ITV’s 2-4HD (not holding my breath for ITV though) and we’ll be on a roll.

    With all this 4G and subsequent interference to DTT in some urban areas we could be seeing more take-up accelerated further in the coming year.

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  8. Kate Says:

    It’s been years since CBS was granted licences for two HD channels:
    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/tvlicensing/cs/987.htm
    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/tvlicensing/cs/1124.htm
    Is there any news on whether they still plan to launch them?

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  9. Al (Original) Says:

    Andy Bell said:
    We’re getting close to the stage when it’ll be possible to start turning Freesat into the free tv platform of choice – and not just a fill in for Freeview Light areas.
    We can already say Freesat’s better than Freeview for news channels, HD, movies, music and children’s channels. With 4 Music almost certainly on the way things can only get even better.
    Of course, the absence of UKTV is a sore. But at least this is partly balanced out by the CBS channels, the extra plus ones and the like.
    But the key thing is it only takes another couple of improvements – UKTV or a bit more HD – before it might be possible to start promoting Freesat as a step up for people who can get the full Freeview service. My own view is that in the long term Freesat could become the principal way of broadcasting free to view television and that terrestrial will exist principally for the public service channels.

    I couldn’t agree more Andy. Been pushing for this myself for a long time now. It seems no-one wants to see Freeview upstaged. Personally I’ve always thought let each platform play to their strengths and let the viewer decide which one is for them.

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  10. Neil Says:

    Some people thought the addition of Sky News, Challenge and Pick TV would be used as a tool to coach people back to Sky from FS, seems to have gone the other way as proved by FS’s good results last week, Sky’s stagnant DTH growth and higher 10.8% churn.

    I wonder if manufacturers will start producing TV’s again with in-built freesat tuners?

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  11. Martin Says:

    Happy birthday freesat and many more to come great platform its the only way I watch tv now

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  12. Richard Crichton Says:

    Al (Original) said:
    Happy Birthday Freesat!
    You just need to get Freetime boxes sold through broadband providers now as well – talktalk are installing nearly 10,000 Freeview Youview boxes a week:
    http://www.cable.co.uk/news/talktalk-revenue-falls-despite-youview-growth-801534623/

    The article says their install capacity has increased to 10k a week not that they are installing 10k a week. Freetime will always be at a disadvantage because no isp’s are using the platform as a basis of their broadband deals.

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  13. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said:
    Some people thought the addition of Sky News, Challenge and Pick TV would be used as a tool to coach people back to Sky from FS, seems to have gone the other way as proved by FS’s good results last week, Sky’s stagnant DTH growth and higher 10.8% churn.
    I wonder if manufacturers will start producing TV’s again with in-built freesat tuners?

    Those 3 channels just demonstrate how awful Sky is.Paying to watch adverts. Just drives me mad trying to watch Stargate Universe on Pick with all those repetative adverts with those idiots every 9 minures that go on and on and on about Sly Sports
    BTW Would that be G1 or G2 Freesat tuners?

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  14. Al (Original) Says:

    Richard Crichton said: The article says their install capacity has increased to 10k a week not that they are installing 10k a week. Freetime will always be at a disadvantage because no isp’s are using the platform as a basis of their broadband deals.

    I stand corrected on the figures.

    Yes you are right about Freetime and this is where it needs to change if freetime is to become competitive with Youview services.

    There must be some way of working out a deal to incorporate Freetime into Broadband deals without making it subscription for the customer like Freetime.

    Maybe they could get into bed with someone like PlusNet with the USP being FREE TV with a 1st year increased monthly subscription to cover the box for users wanting a deal with box so effectively a 1 year monthly instalment plan.

    That would still trump Youview as Youview = permanently increased subscription. Freetime could be 1 year increased subscription if you required a box with “free” box then normal subscription in year 2 giving FREE TV from then onwards.

    Free TV after year 2 beats Youview hands down and also gives the customer a reason to stay with the ISP due to the decreased subscription costs which is a good plus for the ISP to get onboard.

    Those with their own boxes could just get a normal broadband deal.

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  15. Kuergun Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAAAAAAAAYYYyy…!! I REALLY do like this site I have learned so much from the cleaver guys who run it and the guys who write there views So lets get the next five years started when the parties over and every one is sober :)

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  16. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said: Those 3 channels just demonstrate how awful Sky is.Paying to watch adverts. Just drives me mad trying to watch Stargate Universe on Pick with all those repetative adverts with those idiots every 9 minures that go on and on and on about Sly Sports
    BTW Would that be G1 or G2 Freesat tuners?

    G2 tuners now I guess but either would be good.

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  17. Matthew Says:

    Most of these new music channels that were added in the past month were moved to the M+ package of Virgin Media, which makes me wonder if perhaps these companies who run the channels have lowered their expectations and just want more viewers.

    I noticed Channel 4 run them too.. in partnership with some other company..

    I bet we get more random channels over the course of the year.

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  18. Matthew Says:

    Dear Freesat

    Please get into bed with Discovery Europe and grab a few channels.

    Kind regards

    People who want decent channels.

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  19. nathan williams Says:

    i think before to long freesat take over freeview i find freesat more better than freeview and have good range of channels

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  20. John Naylor Says:

    5 years? Freesat has come a long way and it will get much better.

    @ 7 Neil. Some time ago, I posted a reply from Channel 5 when I asked them if Channel 5HD was coming to Freesat. If not, why not! Everyone that reads this should email Channel 5 asking the same question. If we keep asking, surely they will listen. We won’t know until we ask!

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  21. alexander Says:

    Matthew said: Dear Freesat
    Please get into bed with Discovery Europe and grab a few channels.
    Kind regards
    People who want decent channels

    SKY will not release the HD on the above channels, but the european courts will allow the SD versions. If the Discovery channels join in SD then UKTV must follow suit.

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  22. Neil Says:

    Matthew said:
    Most of these new music channels that were added in the past month were moved to the M+ package of Virgin Media, which makes me wonder if perhaps these companies who run the channels have lowered their expectationsand just want more viewers.
    I noticed Channel 4 run them too.. in partnership with some other company..
    I bet we get more random channels over the course of the year.

    Box TV is a joint venture between C4 and Bauer (a large publishing and radio media company), all the channels including 4Music are part of the Box TV portfolio. They’ve obviously decided to go FTA as they felt what cut of subscription subs they were getting was negligible, joining Freesat was a next stage natural extension once in the clear. 4Music isn’t on-board yet but reckon will by the end of the year if not sooner.

    Matthew said:
    Dear Freesat
    Please get into bed with Discovery Europe and grab a few channels.
    Kind regards
    People who want decent channels.

    Sorry to disappoint but there’s no chance of any Discovery branded channels joining as they are all pay services. One of their channels which is a contender though is ‘Quest’ and available free on DTT, recent reports of contacts seem to give mildly optimistic responses that it may one day appear on the platform. The more who email, the more chance something, if anything, will happen. http://www.questtv.co.uk/contact-us

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  23. Michael Says:

    Neil said: One of their channels which is a contender though is ‘Quest’ and available free on DTT, recent reports of contacts seem to give mildly optimistic responses that it may one day appear on the platform. The more who email, the more chance something, if anything, will happen. http://www.questtv.co.uk/contact-us

    Good luck with that as there’s a couple of responses from Quest on Freesat Community regarding joining Freesat.

    “Dear Sir,

    Thank you for contacting Quest TV Viewer Relations.
    Unfortunately I cannot say if and when Quest TV will be available on Freesat. This decision will be made by Freesat and not by us. In this case you need to contact Freesat.

    For all the latest program information, log onto: http://www.questtv.co.uk/

    With kind regards,

    Maarten
    Quest TV Viewer Relations Team”

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  24. Neil Says:

    Michael said: Good luck with that as there’s a couple of responses from Quest on Freesat Community regarding joining Freesat.
    “Dear Sir,
    Thank you for contacting Quest TV Viewer Relations.
    Unfortunately I cannot say if and when Quest TV will be available on Freesat. This decision will be made by Freesat and not by us. In this case you need to contact Freesat.
    For all the latest program information, log onto: http://www.questtv.co.uk/
    With kind regards,
    Maarten
    Quest TV Viewer Relations Team”

    Seems an odd reply? Surely the decision will be made to join the platform by all relevant broadcasters as freesat is in essence just an EPG! Still, at least it’s not a blanket ‘no’ like most other broadcasters give you!

    I’ve had a nosy on the freesat forums a few times, sadly they appear to be trolled by two or three people who just spout out utter nonsense which is a shame, JF is much better for decent banter :)

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  25. Keith (original) Says:

    Happy Birthday Freesat. I originally got it simply because it was the only way to get BBC HD (without $ly). Now there are 6 HD channels, and whilst there are still some glaring ommissions (5HD, ITV2,3,4) that is significantly better than we may have hoped only a year ago, or so.

    alexander said: SKY will not release the HD on the above channels, but the european courts will allow the SD versions. If the Discovery channels join in SD then UKTV must follow suit.

    I’d be curious to know more concerning these rulings.

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  26. TerryG Says:

    Happy birthday Freesat! Thanks people, now I know I’m not the only one who will not subscribe to $ky because of the commercials and sponsored prog’s!
    Some good arguements put forward for some good channels badly needed, how can $ky put the stops on them, I thought monopolies were illegal?

    Freesat also needs more ‘Freetime’ receivers, one is not much of a choice?

    [admin edit]

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  27. Richard Crichton Says:

    $ky shares fall nearly 6% on BT free footy announcement D:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22462525

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  28. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    $ky shares fall nearly 6% on BT free footy announcement D:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22462525

    Fantastic, never thought BT’s offer was going to be that good! They reached as low as 7% down at one point too :)

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  29. Russ Says:

    The Argos shopping channel seems to have disappeared from Freesat.

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  30. Richard Crichton Says:

    Russ said:
    The Argos shopping channel seems to have disappeared from Freesat.

    Good news then :D

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  31. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said: Fantastic, never thought BT’s offer was going to be that good! They reached as low as 7% down at one point too

    At last the worm has turned and Sly dosen’t like it.This should be interesting. Let the war begin. :D

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  32. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said: At last the worm has turned and Sly dosen’t like it.This should be interesting. Let the war begin.

    Yep very interesting indeed, lets see how the share price fares today, reckon initially it will stay 4-6% lower until investors see how many people defect from Sky Broadband. Some are saying Sky will offer customers good retention deals but unless they’ll give the sports fans wanting the BT channels free broadband they’ll all churn and go to BT, think it’s a cracking blow at Sky by BT which must have been the Senior Execs best kept secret in their boardroom until it was unveiled yesterday. All in all it will dent Sky’s financial clout a bit, hopefully their focus will turn on BT now rather than them trying to quash Freesat at every opportunity!

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  33. Dan Says:

    Is there any possible way this may help freesat get more from Sky. For example, Sky offering Sky Sports or Movies as a pay extra on free time? Maybe this could see Sky Sports News go FTA, as BT Sport are offering a ‘free’ sport’s package? Wishful thinking I know, but anything is possible now!

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  34. Neil Says:

    Dan said:
    Is there any possible way this may help freesat get more from Sky. For example, Sky offering Sky Sports or Movies as a pay extra on free time? Maybe this could see Sky Sports News go FTA, as BT Sport are offering a ‘free’ sport’s package? Wishful thinking I know, but anything is possible now!

    Sky only give things away for free when they can use it as a barker channel to gain more subscriptions. The Sky Sports News thing though is an interesting one, maybe they might just do that in the future but doubt it will appear on freesat unless, like the others, they are forced to.

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  35. Dan Says:

    Neil said: Sky only give things away for free when they can use it as a barker channel to gain more subscriptions. The Sky Sports News thing though is an interesting one, maybe they might just do that in the future but doubt it will appear on freesat unless, like the others, they are forced to.

    With SSN, surely it would be ideal to use it as a barker on freesat. It’s a base of 3million units of which they know the owners have satellite dishes for their service. It would be a good chance for them to persuade people to get Sky Sports/Sky TV on their main TV, as they’ve attempted to do with Pick & Challenge?

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  36. alexander Says:

    Keith (original) said: Happy Birthday Freesat. I originally got it simply because it was the only way to get BBC HD (without $ly). Now there are 6 HD channels, and whilst there are still some glaring ommissions (5HD, ITV2,3,4) that is significantly better than we may have hoped only a year ago, or so

    If FREESAT can get the above then BBC3, BBC4, BBC NEWS & BBC PARLIAMENT. Once we heve those then the two childrens channals can be added. BBC3 & BBC4 could start making longer broadcast on FREESAT only!

    The only way to accept the above in HD is to use dedicated FREESAT receicers using the uk postcode.

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  37. Rosco Says:

    Russ said:
    The Argos shopping channel seems to have disappeared from Freesat.

    Argos TV is closing down

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  38. TerryG Says:

    Be quick people before it goes, BT Sport 1&2 are FTA on Eutelsat 28A

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  39. Michael Says:

    TerryG said:
    Be quick people before it goes, BT Sport 1&2 are FTA on Eutelsat 28A

    What’s the transponder frequencies?

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  40. TerryG Says:

    Michael said: What’s the transponder frequencies?

    Sport 1 11.222H 27.500 2/3

    Sport 2 12.643V 27.500 2/3

    SD only, the HD channels on 11.585H & 11.527V are encrypted in Videoguard

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  41. Michael Says:

    TerryG said: Sport 111.222H27.5002/3
    Sport 212.643V27.5002/3
    SD only, the HD channels on 11.585H & 11.527V are encrypted in Videoguard

    Unless I’m missing something, all they say is coming soon so you don’t actually get to see anything?

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  42. Dan Says:

    Spot on, unless they leave it on for the first couple of days during football pre season to get more people interested, or make the first weekend a ‘free play weekend’ as sky usually do in August.

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  43. TerryG Says:

    Michael said: Unless I’m missing something, all they say is coming soon so you don’t actually get to see anything?

    Sorry people, I was passing on third party info, I couldn’t check it myself as my Humax is undergoing open heart surgery!

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  44. mike65 Says:

    Just throw this in, Freesat is used in Ireland as an alternative to subscription platforms SKY and UPC – but not by nearly enough people who have got into the bad habit of shelling out for a convenient “one box” solution to watch both Irish and British channels. Today COMREG, who are the overseer for the teleco sector published the results of a survey which included some TV platform stats – Freesat is on 6% of the total market (I suspect this number actual includes generic FTA), given it has no marketing presence in Ireland that’s not bad of course with some marketing would surely be much higher in this era of frugality but there is no reason for that to happen.

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  45. alexander Says:

    mike65 said: Just throw this in, Freesat is used in Ireland as an alternative to subscription platforms SKY and UPC – but not by nearly enough people who have got into the bad habit of shelling out for a convenient “one box” solution to watch both Irish and British channels. Today COMREG, who are the overseer for the teleco sector published the results of a survey which included some TV platform stats – Freesat is on 6% of the total market (I suspect this number actual includes generic FTA), given it has no marketing presence in Ireland that’s not bad of course with some marketing would surely be much higher in this era of frugality but there is no reason for that to happen.

    “RTE International” was the code name for the new irish channel on a pan european spot on 28e. They then decided to drop the idea, Could they not ask TV3 to join them in a progect FREESAT channel if posibile in HD

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  46. David Says:

    Happy Birthday Freesat, let’s hope there are many more to come!

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  47. Ronnie Says:

    Feels like a year.

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