Sky to offer free channels with FreeSat

James Murdoch, chief executive of BSkyB, the satellite-broadcasting giant outlined his plans for BskyB's free television offering at the Merrill Lynch annual media conference yesterday.

The system, which will cost users a one off fee of £150 would give them a Sky box and aerial that would give them free access to about 116 channels including all the normal terrestrial channels and a further 80 radio stations.

FreeSat, as some pundits in the industry are already calling is will carry no monthly subscription fee but will be open to customers being able to upgrade packages similar to the TopUp TV system currently running on freeview.

BSkyB is hoping that the upgrade options will be enough to entice viewers to sign up to its more compressive satellite offering. Although the channels that are to be included in the package have yet to be announced it is widely believed that none of the premium movie or sports channels will be included.



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