IT & Telcos
After more than two years, the offer of free digital television with extra channels has been taken up by less than a fifth of New Zealand’s households.
Freeview, the national digital broadcasting platform which offers more television channels and high definition support, said today it hit an access milestone today with 255,048 households now able to receive Freeview. This represents 17.5 percent of the 1,454,106 households in New Zealand as at the 2006 census.
Total household access numbers are made up of 167,328 homes accessing Freeview via satellite and 87,720 Freeview HD homes which receive UHF signals.
Receiving Freeview entails purchasing a set-top box and possibly a satellite dish which can cost upwards of $400. This has presented a large hurdle to the mass uptake of the platform, and Freeview general manager Sam Irvine credited the falling cost of set-top boxes with the increase of 11,846 new subscribers in the last quarter.
"One of the key drivers of growth in the last quarter has been the sharp deals available in retail, which is partly due to new brands coming into the market with Freeview approved products," said Irvine.
Freeview launched in May 2007 to present a free-to-air digital competitor to pay television and to help encourage to uptake of digital television in preparation for the "analogue switch off" - the end of traditional, analogue broadcasting in New Zealand.
In May 2006, Cabinet decided to move to digital broadcasting with the view of switching off analogue broadcasting in 2012, or when digital penetration reached 75 percent, whichever came first.
- © Fairfax NZ News