Satellite TV in Europe

The official Astra 2E & 2F

Aim to standardise services and technologies and promote economies of scale

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

In the first collaboration of its kind, 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.

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.

To learn more about the FreeTV Alliance please go to


Notes to editors:

About the FreeTV Alliance

The FreeTV Alliance is a working group founded by three leading European free-to-air (FTA) satellite providers: Fransat, (France), Freesat (UK), and Tivùsat (Italy).

The FreeTV Alliance’s Management Committee is made up of the Chief Executives or Managing Directors of each of the Founding Member companies:

  • Jean-Luc Deroudilhe, CEO, Fransat
  • Emma Scott, Managing Director, Freesat
  • Alberto Sigismondi, CEO, Tivùsat (Chair)

Alberto Sigismondi will be the first Chair of the Alliance, after which the Chairmanship will pass annually between the Chief Executives.

All three platforms have considerable experience in delivering high-quality television services with the support and engagement of leading broadcasters in their home territory across both linear and on-demand viewing. They share a number of other key characteristics:

  • Hybrid operators, mixing satellite- and broadband-delivered programming
  • Operating in extremely competitive markets
  • Excellent and collaborative relationships with CE manufacturers
  • Retail-focused businesses


Fransat (a subsidiary of Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators) 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 à 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.

About Freesat

Freesat is the UK's subscription free satellite TV service and is now in over 1.85 million homes. A joint venture between the UK’s leading broadcasters ITV and the BBC, Freesat offers over 200 channels, and On Demand and connected services ranging from BBC iPlayer to YouTube. Freesat’s next generation connected TV Guide, Freetime, is now available in both smart TVs and set top boxes and features a Backwards EPG plus an editorially curated recommendation service, Showcase.

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