Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Public Is Buying into Freeview's Unambiguous Pounds 99 Proposition

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Public Is Buying into Freeview's Unambiguous Pounds 99 Proposition

Article excerpt

Reports that Freeview is managing to outsell SkyDigital in high-street shops is good news for all concerned, including marketers hoping that ad-funded digital terrestrial will one day become a serious player in the television market.

Naturally the news that Freeview has sold more than 500,000 receivers at pounds 99 and is starting to outsell digital satellite systems has been portrayed as a head-to-head race that someone is losing. This is, of course, complete nonsense.

What we are seeing is the entirely realistic demarcation of the market into pay and non-pay viewers.

It is possible that some Freeview customers may in time trade up to subscription television. But it is very unlikely. They are the ones who have successfully resisted all Sky's blandishing over the years. They are either not interested in exclusive sport or just not interested in paying more for a plethora of television channels.

BSkyB has clearly set out its stall. It never deviates from the main mantra: seven million satellite subscribers by the end of this year, and average revenue per subscriber of pounds 400 by the end of 2005. Freeview sales are very unlikely to have much effect on that.

Even cable could at long last have its important point of differentiation in the marketplace. After all these years, it is scarcely going to be television or even conventional telephone services. Broadband and the extra capacity that it has to offer could yet turn out to be a very significant business for cable - although patience will be required by all concerned. …

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