More than 14% of homes in New Zealand now have Freeview, the free to air digital television and radio platform, according to figures released today. This equates to nearly 10,000 new homes a month (or 72,000 new viewers over the quarter) now enjoying the benefits of crystal clear free-to-air digital television.
The latest sales figures for the three months ending March, 2009, indicate that the total households now reached by Freeview is 226,141, or 14.1% of permanent households. This figure is made up of the Freeview satellite service which launched in May 2007 (155,482 or 9.7%) and the Freeview|HDTM service, which launched in April last year (70,659 or 4.4%).
“As we approach our second birthday, Freeview continues to connect with Kiwis right around the country. We are ahead of forecast and are tracking well towards more homes watching free-to-air digital television. We are looking forward to the prospect of working even more closely with all the relevant broadcasting stakeholders. Whether it’s the Government, Sky TV and Prime or our own consortium partners, we’re focused on making Freeview a world leading free-to-air digital broadcasting platform,” says Sam Irvine, Acting General Manager, Freeview.
MediaWorks TV (owners of TV3 and C4) launched its first Freeview exclusive channel – TV3+1 – on March 30, which is available on Freeview channel 8 on both Freeview satellite and Freeview|HD.
It provides Freeview viewers with the option of tuning into their favourite shows an hour after they have screened, a service that has proved incredibly popular in the UK and other markets around the world and which initial results show, is clearly connecting with Freeview viewers.
“We know from retailers around the country that the recession is clearly impacting Kiwis; we are staying at home more, looking at our home entertainment options and we are watching more TV. The latest take up figures suggest New Zealanders are looking to Freeview as a good value home entertainment option. That’s because you get a free- to-air, digital quality TV experience with more channels to choose from than traditional free-to-air analogue television plus other digital only features” he adds.