Freesat making waves with BSkyBDamien Moye
Freesat, which allows customers who buy its set-top boxes to access satellite TV services for free, will announce the partnership when it unveils a hi-tech new set-top box tomorrow . This new device can give users access to Netflix and other on-demand services, which allow viewers to rent films and TV shows by downloading them over the internet direct to a TV.
The move is likely to upset BSkyB, which already considers Netflix as a significant threat. BSkyB also has a history of battling with the BBC where it believes the corporation is behaving in an overly commercial manner.
Freesat’s new set-top box is the company’s biggest step forward since it launched four years ago. As well as on-demand downloads, it will allow viewers to scroll backwards through TV shows listings to watch them up to eight days after they air. Similar services are offered by Virgin Media and YouView, but Freesat will be the only satellite television company to offer this type of service.
Freesat launched in 2008 to offer homes with satellite dishes free-to-air television. It has sold 2.6m set-top boxes or Freesat TVs to date, and directly targets BSkyB customers who are looking to cut their monthly bills.