UK free-to-view satellite platform Freesat reported “strong quarterly growth” in the first quarter of 2014, adding 18,000 homes and ending the quarter with a user base of 1.84 million households.
Freesat, which first launched six years ago this week, now says it is watched by more than 3.8 million viewers every week, in what it claims “demonstrates the strong appeal of premium TV on a subscription-free basis.”
Freesat’s connected TV service Freetime now accounts for 41% of all Freesat set top box sales, according to the quarterly stats, with sales of Freetime boxes having more than doubled year-on year.
Freesat said that demand for its mobile app has also been strong with total downloads now at over 200,000 since launching just over 100 days ago. The app works as a remote control, acts as a guide to what’s on TV, and lets viewers set recordings remotely.
“I’m delighted that Freesat’s strong 2013 momentum has continued into the first quarter of 2014. Free TV has never been so vibrant or compelling. TV fans are switching on to our Freetime service and switching away from pay TV and the expensive contracts that go with it,” said Freesat managing director Emma Scott.
The quarterly figures follow recent partnership deals with TV makers Panasonic and Vestel. The Panasonic deal makes Freetime the preferred TV guide in the new range of Viera TVs that are now on sale in the UK, while the Vestel deal will see Freetime included on a wide range of TVs and set top boxes, including those sold by high street retailers Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Argos.