Connected TV function fires up Freesat in H1 2014

| 29 July 2014

UK subscription-free satellite TV service Freesat has reported a solid first half of 2014 by adding 24,000 new homes in the six months to 30 June 2014, taking its total to 1.85 million households.

The company attributes its continued growth to the broad offer of premium TV on a non-contract basis. With a Freesat box, viewers have access to over 200 TV and radio channels, more than with any other free-to-air provider, and the bouquet has been extended even more with Freetime, Freesat's connected TV service that now accounts for 47% of all Freesat set-top box sales. Sales of Freetime boxes more than tripled year-on year, and for the first time it is now available on Panasonic as the preferred TV guide in the new range of VIERA TVs.

Freetime allows viewers to roll-back the TV guide to watch shows from the past seven days, pause, record and rewind live programmes and offers access to all the major on-demand players including the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5, BBC News, BBC Sport and YouTube. During the second quarter of the year, Freesat also announced the addition of its first pay video-on-demand (VOD) service, Curzon Home Cinema, offering content from the leading independent cinema house.

"I'm constantly encouraged by the number of people that are switching away from paying for their TV every month to join Freesat which is subscription free," said Freesat managing director Emma Scott, commenting on the results. "Our good start to the year has continued into the second quarter and the mixture of great programming, brilliant features and no monthly bills is proving to be a very compelling proposition."