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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 12:34 GMT
Freeview sales hit 300,000
Alan Hansen on trailer
Celebrities starred in a trail for the BBC's digital services
More than 300,000 viewers have snapped up digital TV boxes to watch the new digital service Freeview, retailers have reported.

The figure represents the total amount sold in the first two months of launch, after the BBC-backed Freeview service launched on 30 October in 2002.

An average of 33,000 set-top receivers have been sold per week, according to figures compiled from retailer and manufacturer feedback.

Children watching television
Freeview offers channels including the BBC's children's services

Viewers can get up to 30 digital channels by buying one of the 99 boxes and do not have to pay a monthly subscription.

Since Freeview's launch, almost two million requests for information were received, with about 700,000 calls being made to the telephone information line and 1.2 million visits recorded to the website.

"Of course it's still early days for the launch of Freeview, but these figures show that there's undoubtedly a major opportunity out there for the idea of simple, free digital television," said Andy Duncan, BBC director of marketing and communications.

"We're delighted that Freeview is making the BBC's digital channels available to many more people and bringing in a new audience who have not considered digital television before," he added.

Fresh start

The Government has set a target for all analogue signals to be switched off by 2010, provided enough homes are connected to digital.

Backed by a consortium including the BBC, BSkyB and transmitter company Crown Castle International, Freeview replaced ITV Digital, which collapsed due to financial problems.

On Freeview, viewers can watch digital channels like BBC Choice, BBC Four, ITV2 and Sky Travel.

Two new channels - entertainment channel Ftn and UK Bright Ideas - launched this month.



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17 Dec 02 | Entertainment
04 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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