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Freesat sales growth shows 'ongoing appeal' of subscription-free TV

Tuesday, August 11th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Sales of subscription-free satellite TV service Freesat have grown by 48% year-on-year in the first six months of 2015.

Freesat added more than 19,000 new customers in the first half of the year and saw take-up of Freetime, its connected TV service, increase by 200% year-on-year.

Four million Freesat viewers in 1.9m households across the UK can now access more than 200 TV and radio channels through the free-to-air service.

Freesat said the upcoming autumn programming schedule will continue to draw viewers to its channels with popular dramas such as Homeland (Channel 4) and the final season of Downton Abbey (ITV) both set to return.

It also said the expansion of Freetime, which allows users to pause, rewind and record, as well as watch programmes from the past seven days through its Roll Back TV guide, will continue.

Several new manufacturer partnerships are set to bring the user-friendly on-demand offering to a greater number of television viewers.

In July, Freesat partnered with Humax to launch the HDR-1100S set-top box, described as its most affordable set-top box recorder.

The box features catch-up players including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4, Demand 5, YouTube and Curzon Home Cinema.

'Great telly'

It also comes with integrated wi-fi and the TV recommendation service Showcase.

Further Freetime product collaborations with Manhattan and Vestel are scheduled to launch in the next 12 months.

Alistair Thom, Freesat’s managing director, said: “It has been another strong quarter for the team at Freesat, and our continued growth demonstrates the ongoing appeal of subscription-free connected TV.

“Expanding our partnership with manufacturers like Humax, Manhattan and Vestel enables us to offer our customers great telly and on-demand services, for even better value.”

Speaking at the launch of the HDR-1100S box, Humax commercial director Graham North said: “With the ever-increasing consumer demand for the connected home, there was an absolute necessity to incorporate wi-fi within the new Humax Freesat Freetime family.

“The new box adds even more appeal to the popular Freetime service, allowing great streaming and on-demand content to be easily accessible.

“Its compact size and range of colours provide further value and choice to consumers, making it a must-have product for home entertainment.”

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