Freesat, the free digital satellite television service has reached 100,000 sales within just five months of launching on 6th May 2008, having maintained strong, steady growth throughout what has been a tough summer for high street retailers.
In a tough economic climate Freesat are delighted with the figures, suggesting the uptake is a result of free high-definition driving sales, as well as live HD sporting events both on the BBC and ITV channels.
With an autumn schedule boasting UEFA Champions League, England World Cup qualifiers and FA Cup football on ITV HD exclusive to Freesat, and first class dramas and entertainment including Heroes and Strictly Come Dancing from BBC HD, strong sales are set to continue.
Emma Scott, Managing Director of Freesat commented,
There’s no denying how much people enjoy watching in high definition once they see it for themselves and the success of Freesat proves that. Unfortunately there are still a lot of people out there who think they’re already watching in HD because they have an HD ready TV – but they aren’t.
We want to help everyone understand that HD Ready is not the same thing as HD now. Without an HD digital receiver connected to an HD Ready TV or an integrated TV with Freesat HD built in you can’t watch an HD TV programme. It needn’t be complicated or costly. For those people that already have a satellite dish installed, they may simply be able to take their Freesat digital box or integrated TV home and plug it straight in.
So what does the future hold for Freesat?
The introduction of Freesat+ (their words, not ours!), a digital television recorder (DTR or HDR), due for release by Humax in November (confirmed).
An increased number of manufacturers, including some leading brands whom are already in discussions with Freesat, plus a larger supply chain.
Freesat are also continuing with it’s plan to offer 200 channels by early 2009, with channels being added to the EPG every week or two. Channel Five is said to be just a few weeks away, with an exclusive Freesat channel (presumed RTE, not official) expected by the end of the year.
Commenting on the future of Freesat, Emma Scott said,
We’ve done a great job so far, and we’re delighted that so many people are now satisfied Freesat homes. We look forward to continuing to work with all our partners to build on our success for Christmas and into 2009