Freesat launches today
This is a press pack from Freesat, a joint venture between the BBC and ITV
Free digital television and HD for everyone – no
subscription, no contract
BBC HD available now and ITV HD to launch exclusively on
Freesat, the new, free, digital satellite television service
launches today, Tuesday 6 May 2008. Freesat is a joint venture
between the BBC and ITV.
Reaching almost all of the UK (98% of households), Freesat has
over 80 free digital channels – television, radio, interactive –
plus high definition (HD) services from the BBC and ITV.
has no subscription and no contract; all that is required to
receive it is a one-off payment for equipment.
line-up will grow each month, with up to 200 channels on air by
the end of the year.
Emma Scott, Managing Director, Freesat, said: "Today is a landmark
day for digital TV in the UK – the launch of a new digital
satellite service which brings free HD programmes to everyone.
"With more than 9.6 million HD-ready televisions already sold in
the UK, but only a tiny fraction of those who own them currently
able to receive HD programmes, there's a big opportunity for
Freesat to lead the way in introducing the UK to high definition
Freesat's initial channel line-up includes some of the most
popular digital TV channels: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC
Four; ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4; Channel 4, E4, More4 and Film4;
news channels BBC News and Al-Jazeera English; children's
channels CBBC, CBeebies and CiTV; music channels Chartshow TV and
The Vault; interactivity from BBCi; digital radio; and the
superlative picture quality of BBC HD and ITV HD.
Freesat will carry the BBC HD channel from day one, with ITV HD
launching exclusively on Freesat soon afterwards.
Michael Grade, Executive Chairman, ITV plc, said: "The launch of
Freesat is the final piece in the digital jigsaw and will ensure
that all viewers in the UK have access to free-to-air digital and
high definition television.
"We will launch our HD service with an
unrivalled line-up of premium football including the FA Cup,
England internationals and UEFA Champions League from next
"Now everyone in the UK can experience the benefits of
digital television: more choice of channels, interactivity and
the extraordinary picture quality of HD."
Mark Thompson, Director-General, BBC, said: "With the launch of
Freesat, all the BBC's digital channels, including BBC HD, will
now be available to all licence fee payers wherever they live and
however they choose to access them.
"This means they will have
yet another way to watch a fantastic range of BBC output, from
landmark dramas and world-class documentaries to national events
and live sport."
Freesat will have three different types of receiver: a standard
definition box, an HD box and an HD integrated digital TV with
Freesat built-in (IDTV).
Boxes are made by Goodmans, Bush,
Grundig (the Alba Group) and Humax. The IDTV is made by
Panasonic and will be available in June.
Box prices will start from £49, with a high definition box
available from £120, plus installation costs from around £80.
(Installation includes the satellite dish).
Later this summer Alba and Humax digital television recorders
will also be available so viewers can record, pause, rewind and
fast forward their favourite TV programmes.
Freesat has its own seven-day on-screen electronic programme
guide (EPG) and a channel guide so that viewers can easily find
the programmes they want.
Where to get Freesat equipment and installation
Freesat is available in shops and online from major high street
outlets Argos, Comet, Currys and John Lewis, plus some
Retailers sell equipment and can also
arrange installation by approved installers.
Freesat consumer support
The Freesat website, at www.freesat.co.uk, has full information
about the new service and how to get it.
There is also a Freesat
call centre on 08450 990 990.