• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Freesat takeup faster than ONdigital

pdoherty76

Established Member
We heard recently that freesat had managed 200,000 units sold in its first 8 months. I was reading some history of ONdigital and it appears they only managed 110,000 subscribers in their first 6 months. They then went on to have over 1million subscribers after 3 years.

The 200,000 figure sounded bad to me until I made that comparison. Freesat is selling faster than the much advertised first DTT service. That has to be very encouraging considering they managed that with out even a fraction of the advertising ONdigital had.

I wonder when/if freesat will get into the million units sold? If they start advertising now and improve the service then user numbers could explode.

Its all very encouraging.....lets just hope ITV HD dont bid 3billion quid for the conference football rights;)
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
We heard recently that freesat had managed 200,000 units sold in its first 8 months. I was reading some history of ONdigital and it appears they only managed 110,000 subscribers in their first 6 months. They then went on to have over 1million subscribers after 3 years.

The 200,000 figure sounded bad to me until I made that comparison. Freesat is selling faster than the much advertised first DTT service. That has to be very encouraging considering they managed that with out even a fraction of the advertising ONdigital had.

I wonder when/if freesat will get into the million units sold? If they start advertising now and improve the service then user numbers could explode.

Its all very encouraging.....lets just hope ITV HD dont bid 3billion quid for the conference football rights;)

There might be a bit of a set back for Freesat with todays announcement of the Sky HD box for £49 for new and existing customers. Sky are now also saying that they have around 750,000 HD subscribers too.

Obviously there will always be a place for a satellite service that provides free content and rightly so, but I don't share your optimism on the way you see Freesat expanding its user base, or its HD content I'm afraid.

ATB

Max
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
There might be a bit of a set back for Freesat with todays announcement of the Sky HD box for £49 for new and existing customers. Sky are now also saying that they have around 750,000 HD subscribers too.

Obviously there will always be a place for a satellite service that provides free content and rightly so, but I don't share your optimism on the way you see Freesat expanding its user base, or its HD content I'm afraid.

ATB

Max

I disagree. There will always be at least 50% of this country who will never want subscription television. Thats a huge market to aim for.

SKY could reduce its HD box to £1.49 and throw in a free box of cornflakes but the fact remains that HD on it is 10 quid more per month and they actually charge for recording on the PVR. Many people wont go for that.


How long has SKY been going? Its been providing analogue since 1989 then digital since 1998 and yet it only has 9 million subscibers. Sky will max out because some people dont want a subscription and Freesat is ready to take those people and provide a nice pool of people to advertise to.

I dont understand why you think the price of a sky Hd box is a setback to freesat???? They arent in competition. Ones a pay tv service and the other isnt.

If your logic was correct then freeview would be dead in the water but there are as many freeview users as their are sky users. Freeview+ recorders cost more than sky boxes but, again, theres no subscription afterward.

Freesat is actually a better proposition than freeview. It already has HD, has more bandwidth, and can reach 99% of the country.
 
Last edited:

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
I disagree. There will always be at least 50% of this country who will never want subscription television. Thats a huge market to aim for.

SKY could reduce its HD box to £1.49 and throw in a free box of cornflakes but the fact remains that HD on it is 10 quid more per month and they actually charge for recording on the PVR. Many people wont go for that.


How long has SKY been going? Its been providing analogue since 1989 then digital since 1998 and yet it only has 9 million subscibers. Sky will max out because some people dont want a subscription and Freesat is ready to take those people and provide a nice pool of people to advertise to.

I dont understand why you think the price of a sky Hd box is a setback to freesat???? They arent in competition. Ones a pay tv service and the other isnt.

Well Sky don't charge for PVR use if you're a subsciber, so that's a misleading point you make, but HD is £9.75 on top for sure. However that does give you up to 31 HD channels, depending on the level of subscription.

The only reason I think it will be a setback to Freesat is the amount of available HD material on Freesat. There are many people who are likely to want more HD broadcasts after sampling it via Freesat and the only place to get that is via Sky. Since Freesat launched there haven't been any new HD Channels so far.

I thought that advertising revenue generated by FTA/FTV TV stations was on the decline, regardless of the pool of people on Freesat, obviously that's something else that we don't see eye to eye with too!

I'm not knocking or attacking Freesat, far from it, it is great for those people who don't want to pay for a TV service. I'm just not agreeing with your projections for the service. With the growth in the sales of HD TV's the demand for HD programming is going to increase too. I just don't see where Freesat is going to get its HD broadcasters from to attract those people.

ATB

Max
 

GasDad

Remembered (1964-2012)
I disagree. There will always be at least 50% of this country who will never want subscription television. Thats a huge market to aim for.

Indeed.

SKY could reduce its HD box to £1.49 and throw in a free box of cornflakes but the fact remains that HD on it is 10 quid more per month and they actually charge for recording on the PVR. Many people wont go for that.

They don't actually charge for the recording if you have one of their mixes - but you knew that.

If your logic was correct then freeview would be dead in the water but there are as many freeview users as their are sky users. Freeview+ recorders cost more than sky boxes but, again, theres no subscription afterward.

Freesat is actually a better proposition than freeview. It already has HD, has more bandwidth, and can reach 99% of the country.

Freeview is almost certain to have more HD than Freesat in the next couple of years, it is easier to distribute to multiple TV's, and covers the major population areas of the country.

Freesat will be what is was always intended to be - a cover service for those that couldn't receive Freeview .

We were probably going to buy a Fressat PVR this summer (for a holiday home with poor Freeview reception) - but the numbers you are quoting, and ITV's financial situation make the seem a somewhat risky move and a decent ariel a better option
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
Well Sky don't charge for PVR use if you're a subsciber, so that's a misleading point you make, but HD is £9.75 on top for sure. However that does give you up to 31 HD channels, depending on the level of subscription.

The only reason I think it will be a setback to Freesat is the amount of available HD material on Freesat. There are many people who are likely to want more HD broadcasts after sampling it via Freesat and the only place to get that is via Sky. Since Freesat launched there haven't been any new HD Channels so far.

I thought that advertising revenue generated by FTA/FTV TV stations was on the decline, regardless of the pool of people on Freesat, obviously that's something else that we don't see eye to eye with too!

I'm not knocking or attacking Freesat, far from it, it is great for those people who don't want to pay for a TV service. I'm just not agreeing with your projections for the service. With the growth in the sales of HD TV's the demand for HD programming is going to increase too. I just don't see where Freesat is going to get its HD broadcasters from to attract those people.

ATB

Max

I appreciate your point about more HD channels but to be fair freesat is a new service and im certain new HD channels will join eg CH4 HD.

But the fact remains that a huge number of people will never pay subscription. Back in the 90's we had 4 terrestrial channels. SKy offered loads of premium quality channels but they have never had more than 9million subscribers. I cant see people flocking to sky just because it has more HD.

Freeview will have 4 HD channels soon. Im sure it will do very well, despite what sky offers.

Im not even sure where SKY come into this thread. SKY will always exist, they will always have about 30% of households and im sure their subscribers will always be happy, but that has nothing to do with freesat.

Or maybe it does.....I wonder how many people are ditching sky in favour of freesat due to the credit crunch? Freesat has the advantage of free PVR functionality so for non subscribers thats the way to go.

You have to ask why sky are dropping their HD box to 49 quid, are they worried about something?

750,000 users for sky hd is to be expected. They have been doing HD for 2.5 years and they have a large customer base to pitch it to already.

I actually think 750,000 is disappointing for SKY. Less than 10% have switched to HD after 2.5 years. That shows that even SKY customers think the extra 10 quid per month isnt worth it for HD.
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
Indeed.



They don't actually charge for the recording if you have one of their mixes - but you knew that.



Freeview is almost certain to have more HD than Freesat in the next couple of years, it is easier to distribute to multiple TV's, and covers the major population areas of the country.

Freesat will be what is was always intended to be - a cover service for those that couldn't receive Freeview .

We were probably going to buy a Fressat PVR this summer (for a holiday home with poor Freeview reception) - but the numbers you are quoting, and ITV's financial situation make the seem a somewhat risky move and a decent ariel a better option


Freeview is limited to 4 HD channels. It simply doesnt have the bandwidth, and the quality of the channels it has will reduce as more are squeezed on.

Freesat is not simply a cover service, if it were ITV would not have made ITV HD exclusive to it. That really bothers you doesnt it?:D
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
Just to answer these points added by you after I had started my reply:

If your logic was correct then freeview would be dead in the water but there are as many freeview users as their are sky users. Freeview+ recorders cost more than sky boxes but, again, theres no subscription afterward.

And by your logic, why will those happy Freeview users be gagging to boost the user base of Freesat?

Freesat is actually a better proposition than freeview. It already has HD, has more bandwidth, and can reach 99% of the country.

There's no point in adding to what Gasdad has already pointed out regarding Freeview v Freesat, other than that if anything, Freeview is more flexible. If you want Top UP TV or Setanta, at least you can get it.

ATB

Max
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
Readers of this thread take note: NOWHERE in my opening post do I mention SKY, yet, predictably, the SKY fans want to turn this into a SKY thread.
 

GasDad

Remembered (1964-2012)
I appreciate your point about more HD channels but to be fair freesat is a new service and im certain new HD channels will join eg CH4 HD.

You and others keep repeating this mantra - but that doesn't make it true.

CH4 are in trouble, asking for a share of the license fee, their transponder costs for HD are being at least partly funded by sky - why do you think they (or anyone else) are going to find the funds to provide a freesat HD channel.

Freeview will have 4 HD channels soon. Im sure it will do very well, despite what sky offers.

Of course it will - it will make Freesat entirely redundant for the majority of the population - and their in lies my worry - will the service actually continue beyond say 2012.
 

GasDad

Remembered (1964-2012)
Freesat is not simply a cover service, if it were ITV would not have made ITV HD exclusive to it. That really bothers you doesnt it?:D

Bothers me why - as a sky HD subscriber, - no not really.

As a potential user of Freesat - yes, as its a sign of yet more bad management from ITV, that reduces revenue (if they put it on sky as well they'd have a larger audience), and given that Freesat is 50% funded by ITV, it doesn't bode that well for the financial future of Freesat.
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
I appreciate your point about more HD channels but to be fair freesat is a new service and im certain new HD channels will join eg CH4 HD.

But the fact remains that a huge number of people will never pay subscription. Back in the 90's we had 4 terrestrial channels. SKy offered loads of premium quality channels but they have never had more than 9million subscribers. I cant see people flocking to sky just because it has more HD.

Freeview will have 4 HD channels soon. Im sure it will do very well, despite what sky offers.

Im not even sure where SKY come into this thread. SKY will always exist, they will always have about 30% of households and im sure their subscribers will always be happy, but that has nothing to do with freesat.

Or maybe it does.....I wonder how many people are ditching sky in favour of freesat due to the credit crunch? Freesat has the advantage of free PVR functionality so for non subscribers thats the way to go.

You have to ask why sky are dropping their HD box to 49 quid, are they worried about something?

750,000 users for sky hd is to be expected. They have been doing HD for 2.5 years and they have a large customer base to pitch it to already.

I actually think 750,000 is disappointing for SKY. Less than 10% have switched to HD after 2.5 years. That shows that even SKY customers think the extra 10 quid per month isnt worth it for HD.

I'm fundamentally only disagreeing with your projections for Freesat, they aren't based on fact. I'm not arguing whether Sky HD is a roaring success. I certainly don't claim it is. However, Sky are generating £7.5 million pounds a month from HD subscriptions alone, so someone wants to watch more than 1 and a bit HD channels. I realise you don't want to and I'm not suggesting you should.

ATB

Max
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
You and others keep repeating this mantra - but that doesn't make it true.

CH4 are in trouble, asking for a share of the license fee, their transponder costs for HD are being at least partly funded by sky - why do you think they (or anyone else) are going to find the funds to provide a freesat HD channel.



Of course it will - it will make Freesat entirely redundant for the majority of the population - and their in lies my worry - will the service actually continue beyond say 2012.

Heres a direct quote from Channel 4:

We have no further information as to when Channel 4 HD will be avalable via Freesat, but hopefully it will be available at some point this year.

So why are you pretending that its just the users saying this?
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
Readers of this thread take note: NOWHERE in my opening post do I mention SKY, yet, predictably, the SKY fans want to turn this into a SKY thread.

Aren't we discussing your projections for Freesat? I thought I was!

ATB

Max
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
So what do you think of the take up when compared to ondigital? Im amazed freesat managed such sales with virtually no advertising.

Well forgive me if I'm wrong, but can you make a comparison? Wasn't Ondigital a Pay TV Service?

I'm also amazed that you think there's been no advertising for Freesat. I've seen plenty, admittedly mostly from the BBC. I'm not even sure how they could embark on a major advertising campaign anyway, who would pay for it?

ATB

Max
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
Well forgive me if I'm wrong, but can you make a comparison? Wasn't Ondigital a Pay TV Service?

I'm also amazed that you think there's been no advertising for Freesat. I've seen plenty, admittedly mostly from the BBC. I'm not even sure how they could embark on a major advertising campaign anyway, who would pay for it?

ATB

Max

Yes ondigital was a pay tv service but you could prepay and it was the forerunner of freeview which is why I thought the comparison was valid.

Do you remember ondigitals advertising? It was launched with the full fireworks malarkey and ulrika jonsson. It was a blitz.
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
Yes ondigital was a pay tv service but you could prepay and it was the forerunner of freeview which is why I thought the comparison was valid.

Do you remember ondigitals advertising? It was launched with the full fireworks malarkey and ulrika jonsson. It was a blitz.

It was a blitz, but didn't it bomb? Sorry I couldn't resist! :D

Well despite the advertising budget, it did bomb. Freesat has little or no advertising budget to mount such a campaign, it has to rely on its parteners. Which is another reason as to why I can't agree with you on why Freesat is going meet your projections.

Just to reiterate, I don't want Freesat to fail as it provides an important alternative for digital broadcasting. I just can't see 'eye to eye' with you on how you see it developing. Freeview will always be the primary choice for those people not wanting to pay for a TV service IMHO.

ATB

Max
 

GasDad

Remembered (1964-2012)

That's all very nice - but doesn't really offer facts (just lots of 'we hopes')

I note that C4 HD faq doesn't mention Freesat (though it does mention Freeview HD), Andy Duncan doesn't mention it at all in his key note Speech and nor does the official Freesat Site.

I hope C4 HD really is going to Freesat - it would give me hope that the service will last beyond the DSO , and then I could buy a Freesat PVR - But I can't see any concrete evidence that that is the case.
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
It was a blitz, but didn't it bomb? Sorry I couldn't resist! :D

Well despite the advertising budget, it did bomb. Freesat has little or no advertising budget to mount such a campaign, it has to rely on its parteners. Which is another reason as to why I can't agree with you on why Freesat is going meet your projections.

Just to reiterate, I don't want Freesat to fail as it provides an important alternative for digital broadcasting. I just can't see 'eye to eye' with you on how you see it developing. Freeview will always be the primary choice for those people not wanting to pay for a TV service IMHO.

ATB

Max

Ondigital didnt bomb, it got 1million subs in 3 years. It went bust because of how it was eventually ran.

I havent made any projections for freesat. Check my OP. I simply stated the fact that it had made 200,000 sales and I then ASKED when/if people thought it would reach 1million. I then stated numbers could explode IF they advertise and improve the service.

Please show me where I made any projections.
 

Bachstrad

Prominent Member
Ondigital didnt bomb, it got 1million subs in 3 years. It went bust because of how it was eventually ran.

I havent made any projections for freesat. Check my OP. I simply stated the fact that it had made 200,000 sales and I then ASKED when/if people thought it would reach 1million. I then stated numbers could explode IF they advertise and improve the service.

Please show me where I made any projections.

Ah, so going bust isn't bombing then. Woolworth's ran for 99 years, but they certainly bombed recently! I was was only making a joke anyway ... Blitz ... Bomb ... somehow you must have missed it!

My apologies regarding your position on Freesat too, I obviously misunderstood, I thought that throughout this thread you were predicting major growth for Freesat. Obviously you've changed your mind? :confused:

ATB

Max
 

pdoherty76

Established Member
Ah, so going bust isn't bombing then. Woolworth's ran for 99 years, but they certainly bombed recently! I was was only making a joke anyway ... Blitz ... Bomb ... somehow you must have missed it!

My apologies regarding your position on Freesat too, I obviously misunderstood, I thought that throughout this thread you were predicting major growth for Freesat. Obviously you've changed your mind? :confused:

ATB

Max

Please quote me where I predicted major growth for freesat.
 

sosrandom

Standard Member
Freesat takeup faster than ONdigital sounds good, however after a year if prices go down mainstream users may not bother to follow.

Cant really compare the two, ONdigital didn't really have completion like there is now, they spent a lot on advertising and it didn't cost anywhere near as much as freesat or freesat+. I personally wouldnt bother with a Freesat HD box without a PVR either as the program times isn't great.

Also for many people FTA Sky is virtually the same as freesat, but one cost alot more for installation.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Spielberg, Shyamalan, Aronofsky, Chazelle, Eddie Murphy and Mel Gibson - all the latest movies
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom