Satellite TV operators FRANSAT, TIVUSAT and our Freesat launch FreeTV Alliance

Satellite TV operators FRANSAT, TIVUSAT and our Freesat launch  FreeTV Alliance

Three leading European free-to-air satellite TV operators – Fransat (France), Freesat (UK), and Tivùsat (Italy) – have come together to form the FreeTV Alliance.

Aim to standardise services and technologies and promote economies of scale  Photograph: Shutterstock

In the first collaboration of its kind, formed on 12th September 2014, the Alliance aims to promote the harmonisation of satellite TV services and technology across Europe. This will help drive the continuing rollout of compelling free-to-view satellite TV, benefitting viewers, manufacturers, broadcasters, retailers and service providers.


Eutelsat subsidiary Fransat is a simple and fast solution for subscription-free satellite reception of France’s 25 DTT channels of which 10 broadcast in HD, as well as additional local and thematic channels and radio stations. Fransat also enables access to a la carte pay TV services. In addition, Fransat recently launched its interactive portal called “Fransat Connect” that provides viewers with a wide range of interactive services including an advanced programme guide, infotainment, access to catch-up services and video on demand, and including a companion screen application. Today received by 2 million TV sets, Fransat is broadcast in France via the EUTELSAT 5 West A satellite located at 5° West.


Tivusat, the Italian free satellite TV service, was launched July 31, 2009 and gives access to all the national mainstream television channels (Rai Uno, Rai Due, Rai Tre, Canale 5, Italia 1, Rete 4, La 7), the new thematic digital channels (both national and local), a large selection of the most popular international channels, and a wide number of radio channels (both national and international). Via Tivusat HD set-top-boxes and iDTVs, viewers can also access a wide range of non-linear services, such as Rai Replay, Rewind, La7 On Demand (Rai, Mediaset and La7 catch-up services), Infinity, the new Mediaset movies and TV series OTTV service, and Cubovision, the Telecom Italia video-on- demand and OTTV service. Tivusat, which so far has more than 2.2 million activated smart cards and currently reaches over 1.8 million households, is owned by Tivu S.r.l., a joint venture between Rai, Mediaset, Telecom Italia Media, Confindustria Radio TV, and Aeranti Corallo.

FreeTV Alliance

The satellite TV operators have formed the FreeTV Alliance to make it easier and more economical for manufacturers to develop innovative new products and to assist broadcasters and content providers to deploy advanced hybrid TV services combining satellite reception and IP based interactivity. To achieve these goals, the Alliance will produce common recommendations and specifications based on open standards that will apply across set-top boxes and smart TVs in the European market. The FreeTV Alliance members will also work together to establish preferred technologies and common understandings for multiscreen TV solutions.
Announcing the launch of the Alliance at IBC 2014, Alberto Sigismondi, CEO of Tivusat and the first Chair of the FreeTV Alliance, said: “Until now, the major free-to-view satellite TV operators have focussed on building a business within their national boundaries. As the TV and consumer electronics industries become increasingly globalised, now is the right time for us to work together to ensure free-to-view satellite remains at the forefront of the television market.
“The FreeTV Alliance’s priorities include providing concrete help, support and advice to manufacturers so they can more easily include satellite technology into their devices, which in turn will allow operators to offer an even more competitive service to consumers. We will be able to combine our collective resources to deliver the best customer experience whilst minimising costs to manufacturers and so act as a collective group to agree upon common standards and features.”
The FreeTV Alliance’s objective is to remove technology complexities, and help manufacturers to drive innovation and create better television services for European satellite free TV viewers. The founding members of the alliance are highly experienced in delivering quality television services in their home countries, both across linear and on- demand viewing. In addition they all have long histories of working directly with consumer electronics manufacturers to provide consumers with a range of high quality devices that deliver a superior customer viewing experience.

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