Freesat reaches 600,000 sales

Wednesday, September 16 2009, 09:30 BST

By Andrew Laughlin,

Freesat has reached 600,000 sales since it launched in May 2008, making it the UK's fourth biggest digital TV platform.

The subscription-free digital satellite platform achieved the sales milestone in just 16 months, compared to BT Vision's 443,000 pay-TV subscribers gained over a three-year period. Freesat also increased its sales by 50% during the second quarter of 2009.

The platform now carries 140 channels and services, as well as 70 hours of peaktime high-definition programming, all available without subscription.

According to official BARB figures, nine of the top ten most popular multi-channel, non-sport programmes aired in the first half of 2009 were also available on Freesat.

Freesat managing director Emma Scott said: "To achieve this level of sales and viewing in such a short space of time is a fantastic achievement and testament to the ever-growing appeal of Freesat, both to consumers and broadcasters.

"Great innovations such as high-definition TV, Freesat+, and a wide range of programming have previously only been available by paying a subscription and are now proving incredibly popular with viewers. Freesat homes consistently rate the service highly, with over 90% saying they would recommend to a friend.

"We've had a brilliant summer and are confident that we'll continue to report outstanding growth, especially in the run up to the World Cup as we attract viewers that want to watch in high definition but without having to pay a subscription, no matter where they live in the UK."

Freesat is also currently collaborating with the BBC for the launch of BBC iPlayer on the platform, which would make it the first free-to-air TV platform to support the on-demand service.