Irish freesat shuts website

Sat4Free, the satellite marketing concept developed by Irish Power Products in association with British consumer electronics distributor Alba, has shut down its website just a week after its launch claiming “routine maintenance”.

Although it had no direct connection with any broadcaster, the Irish-based service was able to take advantage of the significant number of free-to-air channels available in the republic, basing itself on the UK’s Freesat. Rights restrictions mean that Irish broadcasters such as RTE and TV3 have to encrypt their satellite signals. Nevertheless Sat4Free was able to draw on channels including BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Film 4.

The Grundig-badged receivers were available for €299 or €399 for an HD version capable of receiving BBC HD and ITV HD. Distribution had been secured through Tesco, Atlantic Homecare, Woodies DIY and Powercity.

A spokeswoman for Freesat said it was aware of Sat4Free, but did not want to make any comment.