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Consumer electronics specialist Vestel and UK subscription-free TV service Freesat, have announced a strategic partnership to provide Freesat’s Freetime service via satellite on a range of Vestel’s new smart TVs and set-top boxes. The third largest TV manufacturer in the world, Vestel makes TVs for a variety of major Japanese and European brands as well as own brand TV’s sold by major UK retailers including Argos, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s.
Owners of the new Vestel manufactured TVs and set-top boxes will be able to use Freetime to roll-back the TV guide for the past seven days, access all the major On Demand services including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, and Demand 5, and watch Showcase, Freesat’s great programme recommendation service. The Freesat mobile companion app will also work in conjunction with the Vestel Freetime range, offering the ability to plan, record and manage programmes to watch and directly control the TV.
Freetime boxes now account for over 40 per cent of all Freesat set-top box sales. As the biggest volume supplier to major UK retailers such as John Lewis and Dixons, the Vestel agreement increases even further the number of viewers that will be able to enjoy the Freetime service.
Emma Scott, Freesat’s Managing Director, said the partnership with Vestel further built on the strong momentum for Freetime service. “This is an exciting time for us – we announced the Freetime Panasonic VIERA TVs range last month and we look forward to extending our reach further with Vestel. Through the new agreement, viewers will be able to enjoy Freetime on a whole new range of leading brands.”
Iskender Diker, Vestel’s Commercial Director, said the television market needed a free smart TV platform that retailers could buy to sell under their own brands. “The own brand TV market represents more than 50 per cent of the UK TV market, which makes this partnership between Freesat and Vestel so vitally important. Retailers need to be able to sell high quality TV’s with great TV services like those offered by Freesat. Consumers are quite savvy – they don’t need to pay for what’s free.”