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Freesat hits one million customer mark

40 percent are former Sky subscribers

Freesat, the free satellite TV service from the BBC and ITV, has announced that it now has more than one million customers.

The service, which offers more than 140 digital TV and radio stations, also said that 40 percent of its customers are former subscribers to Sky's pay-for satellite TV service.

"From our customer panel survey we know that 40 percent of Freesat homes had Sky before getting Freesat. The majority tell us they have replaced Sky with Freesat," managing director of Freesat, Emma Scott, told The Guardian.

"Freesat is a great opportunity for the millions of homes with existing satellite dishes who are used to quality TV but no longer want to pay a monthly subscription for it and we continue to see an increasing number of viewers moving across from pay TV."

Scott predicted that the results of Ofcom's investigation into paid-for TV could lead to more subscribers signing up to Freesat.

"We are watching [the investigation] with great interest as we are very interested in [third-party retailers] offering pay TV services," she said.

"The review is an opportunity for all TV platforms in the UK to offer undbundled sports and movies. It is also an opportunity for BSkyB in the process; this could be another market for their channels."

Freesat also announced that it will be offering ITV's catch-up TV service, ITV player, later this year, while the ITV HD channel will hit the service on April 2.

"Much of what we're now working on is paving the way for next generation free TV with innovations like BBC iPlayer and ITV Player," said Scott.

"We will continue to add value to the service by integrating Canvas [a BBC venture to offer broadband-connected set-top boxes] if approved by the BBC Trust and we are following Ofcom's pay TV review with interest."

BBC iPlayer, the TV in demand service from the BBC, was made available on FreeSat in December last year.

See also: BBC and ITV launch free satellite TV

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