Freeview to 'aggressively' go after pay TV customers

Freeview to 'aggressively' go after pay TV customers
Dishing the dirt?

Freeview is set to 'aggressively' go after those people who pay for their television service but might not know what they can get without a subscription.

Freeview is the UK's dominant platform, offering a subscription free digital service, but it is clearly feeling the heat from the likes of Sky, BT, Virgin Media and YouView.

To that end, the company is now not only looking to maintain its audience but snaffle a few viewers back who are at the lower end of the premium TV scale by suggesting that 95 per cent of the most watched television is available for nothing.

The new strategy will kick off with an advert airing on the main terrestrial channels at the end of this week.


"It's quite a departure for us its a bit more punchy and a bit more aggressive than what we have done before but that feels right for us, for where the market is and also the mood of the nation as well," said Freeview's marketing director Guy North.

"If we are positioning ourselves as being the consumer champion it's right we make sure all consumers have information they need to make the right decision for them.

"We are confident that by pointing out the key fact within the advert we will help them make that decision."


TechRadar asked if the 95 per cent figure had fallen in the last ten years, and also about whether the figure was a little skewed by the fact that the most viewed programmes would inevitably be headed up by the ones available for nothing.

"That figure is taken from Barb figures and would have been higher if we hadn't taken out one off programmes," answered North, who admitted sports and movies had also been removed from the list.

"Ten years ago it probably would have been higher than that but the key fact is that where we are now in a market place with strong pay TV providers that statistic is pretty stunning."

It's an interesting approach designed to make a subset of pay TV people wonder if they really need to fork out subs when the lion's share of their viewing may be terrestrial. But it's also unlikely to convince those who love movies, sport and often the top US series that they should stop forking out for content.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.