Freeview announced March 1 that sales of Freeview-enabled digital boxes and digital televisions have passed the 10 million mark; the free-to-air digital terrestrial TV service, launched in October 2002, is now in 6.4 million homes, making it one of the fastest growing consumer entertainment services to launch in the UK, writes Fergal Ringrose.
Ilse Howling, Freeview general manager commented, "People love Freeview's simplicity, our great channels and the one-off payment. With the addition of new entertainment channels, including E4, More 4, Sky Three, ITV 4 and CITV, and with FilmFour on the way, we offer a compelling and simple route to digital TV. Our audience is genuinely mass market and mainstream - with the new channels attracting a younger audience than when we launched in 2002."
A rapid increase in sales of Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) and digital TVs has indicated that the wider range of products on offer is an important factor in Freeview's growth curve. With month-on-month sales of all Freeview-enabled products in 2006 up by over one third on the same period in 20053, this trend looks set to continue.
Freeview offers over 30 free digital television channels as well as over 20 free digital radio stations. It is backed by the BBC, National Grid Wireless, BSkyB, ITV and Channel 4.