Feeds

Freesat downs own website after Downton quickie

Not Sky you say? Tell me more...

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A 40-second spot during last night's Downton Abbey was enough to knock out the Freesat website as viewers rushed to find out more about how to get satellite TV for less.

The spot highlighted Freesat's new <freetime> offering which integrates the various free VoD services offered by the BBC, ITV and so forth, but the spike in interest probably had more to do with Sky customers looking to cut some costs and realising that a monthly subscription can be avoided entirely.

Freesat only hit a million users in 2010, but has been growing slowly and like all satellite services it has bandwidth to spare with more channels than one can usefully navigate through. Sky is so closely associated with satellite that other satellite services are seen as comparable, though in fact Sky has been deemphasising its delivery technology for the last half decade to paint itself as an aggregator of content rather than a broadcaster.

Most of those who pushed over the Freesat site will have only stayed long enough to discover that the sports for which they're currently paying 60 quid a month are only available from Sky, but for those not interested in sports a Sky subscription is increasingly hard to justify.

Sky is well aware of the way things are heading, and its Now TV service looks to compete with Netflix and Lovefilm Instant for the all-you-can-watch on-demand streaming which seems to be the future of television, but Now TV is entirely decoupled from the monthly channel subscriptions which make up Sky's existing revenue.

Historically multichannel TV has made money by bundling channels into bouquets, filling out a few roses with a spray of greenery while claiming to have created personalised bundles, while filling them all with adverts so the broadcaster can collect money from both sides. In straightened times customers don't want to pay for foliage any more, and for the moment those offering ad-free alternatives are mopping up subscribers.

Freesat isn't trying to compete with premium offerings from the likes of Netflix and will likely benefit from the trend of viewers combining free channels with paid VoD services. The question is really if paid VoD services can survive against the free options such as 4oD and iPlayer. The challenge is to educate viewers about their options so they can make sensible decisions, something Freesat's 40-second spot seems to have managed. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.