BBC Freeview Pulls In UK dTV Fans

22 January 2003

Freeview, the thirty-channel free digital TV platform backed by the BBC, Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB and US-based Crown Castle Communications, is proving a hit with the British public.

Since Freeview’s low profile launch on October 30, over three hundred thousand Britons have made a one-off payment of around £99 ($159.69; €149.20) to buy the set-top boxes necessary to receive its interactive dTV transmissions.

This number by far exceeds the sales achieved by now-defunct ITV Digital, which limped to just 110,000 subscriptions four months after its launch in 1999.

Add to Freeview's total the 1.1 million former ITVd subscribers who still retain their Freeview-compatible digiboxes and the new digital platform can already claim coverage of 1.4m of the UK’s 15m households.

Crown Castle president and managing director Peter Abery is rubbing his hands: “It’s very encouraging to see that the Freeview channel package is proving attractive and converting significant numbers of viewers to digital television.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff