Freeview today announced that it has passed a key benchmark to become the main-set TV service in 10 million UK homes.
Freeview's recent growth has been boosted by strong sales across the board and the recent switchover of thousands of homes from five-channel analogue to digital TV, with the vast majority opting for Freeview as their main set.
In the West Country, which completed its switch to digital TV in September this year, 80% of analogue homes chose Freeview for their main set provider compared to 12% for Sky and 8% for Virgin. Freeview has received a similar boost in the Border region and West Wales earlier in the year, bolstering its position as the UK's largest digital TV platform. In total over 18million UK homes use Freeview on at least one TV set in the home.
Reaching the 10million benchmark has also been helped by strong Freeview+ sales during 2009. Freeview+ continues to grow with 1.8million recorders purchased since launch in 2007, with sales on track to hit 2million over Christmas.
And next year Freeview will launch a new Freeview high definition (HD) box which will give consumers subscription-free, HD television through their TV aerial, without the need for a satellite or cable connection. Around 11 million homes in the UK are HD ready, 4 million of which are Freeview homes.
Today's announcement comes on the day of Freeview HD's technical launch with Freeview HD signals going live in London and Manchester. Freeview expects 50% of UK households to be able to access Freeview HD by the World Cup in June 2010 and the first new Freeview HD receivers will go on sale from early 2010, with more products available as the year goes on.
Ilse Howling, Managing Director, Freeview said:
"Becoming the main digital TV service in 10 million homes is a great way to end the year and a fabulous early Christmas present. Freeview is a British success story, and it is a testament to both the simplicity of the service and the hard work of the team that we have hit 10 million so soon."
"With over 50 channels Freeview already offers great choice and quality - but we have bold plans for 2010, with the launch of Freeview HD and Freeview+HD, bringing high definition to millions of homes by the time of the World Cup."