The latest batch of quarterly Freeview figures illustrate that Kiwis are continuing to connect with more free-to-air channels, such as recent addition Prime, improved picture quality, an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) and no ongoing costs.
The appeal of such features has meant that the Freeview digital and radio broadcast platform continues to increase in popularity, so much so that it is now available in nearly 300,000 Kiwi homes around the country. This is well above forecast and at a quicker rate per capita than the majority of countries which have made the switch to digital television.
Latest sales figures for the three months ending September 2009 show that the total number of households able to receive Freeview is 291,853. This figure consists of 177,917 Freeview satellite® homes and 113,936 Freeview|HD® homes.
“The availability and popularity of Prime seems to have contributed to our growth and has brought the total number of channels on Freeview satellite® to 13 and 12 on Freeview|HD®.” says Sam Irvine, General Manager, Freeview.
The availability of Prime on Freeview will also have an impact on driving New Zealand transition towards digital switch over as all national free-to-air channels are now on the platform.
A final decision on the official switch over date, as indicated by Minister of Broadcasting Dr Coleman, will be made when digital television up-take reaches 75 percent of households, or in 2012, whichever occurs first.
“We know that Kiwis are benefiting from the proliferation of impressive retail deals available on Freeview approved products, as the latest take up figures indicate they perceive Freeview as a good value home entertainment option,” adds Sam Irvine.
“Retailers around the country continue to provide us with feedback that Kiwis are really attracted to the sort of priceless entertainment that Freeview provides, that is a one-off cost and no monthly subscription. With all of that in mind, our continued growth prospects look very positive,” he concludes.