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Freeview hits 10 million sales mark

Posted March 1, 2006 - Press Releases

Freeview today announced that sales of Freeview-enabled digital boxes and digital televisions have passed the 10 million mark (1). Launched in October 2002, the successful free-to-air digital terrestrial TV service is now in 6.4 million homes (2), making it one of the fastest growing consumer entertainment services ever to launch in the UK

Ilse Howling, Freeview General Manager commented: “We’re very excited to confirm Freeview’s continuing success. People love Freeview’s simplicity, our great channels and the one-off payment. With the addition of new entertainment channels, including E4, More 4, Sky Three, ITV 4 and CITV, and with FilmFour on the way, we offer a compelling and simple route to digital TV. Our audience is genuinely mass market and mainstream – with the new channels attracting a younger audience than when we launched in 2002.”

A rapid increase in sales of Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) and digital TVs has indicated that the wider range of products on offer is an important factor in Freeview’s strong growth curve. With month-on-month sales of all Freeview-enabled products in 2006 up by over one third on the same period in 2005 (3), this trend looks set to continue.

  1. GFK Marketing Services, February 2006
  2. BARB, January 2006
  3. GFK Marketing Services, January 2006

Last year, Dallas returned to our screens in what the makers called less of a remake and “more of a continuation” showing the evolution of the oil family. It was certainly entertaining with Larry Hagman still dominating as the formidable JR but our jury is out as to whether the show appealed more to the original Dallas fanbase or opened up the series to a whole new (younger) audience. With Hagman’s sad passing ending his time on the show, it’ll be interesting to see if the new crop of young talent can hold their own in the future.

Dr Who
First aired in 1963, Dr Who has been back on our screens for a few seasons now and by all accounts the Doctor is doing very well indeed! Having several actors play the leading man and his right-hand woman has continued to inject a freshness into the show and fans (both new and old) can’t seem to get enough.  But what has also helped is taking a break from the foam costumes, creaky sets and dodgy acting of the 80s to returning with polished special effects and conviction in the acting and great story arcs over the whole series.

A ‘spinoff’ of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 series, the latest version follows a new set of characters (with the odd cameo from an original cast member). Although the show has been panned by some critics, it’s lasted five seasons so far. Whether there will be a sixth (and possibly final) season is yet to be confirmed.  It seems a little unlikely that the original fans would be enamoured by the new teen dramas but it is clearly loved by some.

And then there’s the issue of the trans-Atlantic makeover (more on this another time). The Inbetweeners, Shameless and The Office are just a few of the shows that have been remade with an American cast for US audiences following critical and popular success in the UK. Of these The Office USA has been most successful because it took the original idea and ran with it for a US audience whereas British male teen angst doesn’t travel so well and by contrast, The Inbetweeners USA bombed .

Opinions on remakes (whatever you want to call them) can sometimes be split but they can have a lot of worth, whether it is invoking nostalgia for your youth or introducing a new generation to a great TV series. Perhaps things only really go south when someone remakes a classic, badly. (Did someone say Reginald Perrin? ).

One way or another, you know what they say: imitation is the highest form of flattery.

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