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Freesat from Sky is a British satellite television service from BSkyB which gives viewers access to over 200 free-to-air channels[1], some free-to-view encrypted channels, an electronic programme guide (EPG) and Sky Active interactive data service.

This service requires use of the proprietary Sky Digibox and the Sky+ system of digital video recorder decoders which use Sky's proprietary OpenTV EPG for interactive television services. The boxes are limited in some regards, such as digital audio, video outputs, the lack of ability to use a dish motor and scanning for channels not carried on the EPG. They also feature an EPG that contains all Sky Channels, including pay-TV services which are not available to non-subscription viewers.

Over 200 free-to-air channels (which do not require either a viewing card or a Sky receiver to watch) are available, most of which are not available on Freeview digital terrestrial television, are Euronews, Bloomberg Television, Al Jazeera English, Travel Channel (UK), Men & Motors, all the regional services of the BBC and ITV and S4C Digidol outside of Wales.

It is also possible for Sky Box Office events to be ordered via Freesat from Sky. The process is more complex than it would be if the customer subscribes to Sky. To order events, the customer will require a viewing card and would have to phone Sky providing credit/debit card details in order to gain access to an event.


Service Reach

As of April 2009, the number of households with free-to-view satellite television is estimated by Ofcom to be 597,000, or 2.3% of households with television.[2] (This figure includes households with BBC/ITV Freesat, Freesat from Sky, and 'churned' Sky Digital subscribers who kept their Sky Digiboxes to access free-to-view channels.)


Freesat from Sky is a competitor to Freeview as well as to the BBC and ITV Freesat service also broadcasting from 28.2' and 28.5' east. Freesat from Sky has nine Free to View channels not available on Freesat (see below) and a large number of free-to-air channels not directly listed in the Freesat EPG, including Sky News. Conversely, there are some TV channels that are on Freeview but not satellite at all. These are currently: Big Deal, Smile TV 2 and 3, Partyland, National Lottery Xtra, and teleG (Scotland). (A section of Big Deal is available on FSFS through a simulcast on Information TV, and many of the chat channels (SmileTV2/3, Partyland) are simulcast with adult-category channels on FSFS, though under different channel names and broadcast times).

Other Freeview channels are available on Sky satellite, but are subscription only, so not available via Freesat from Sky. These channels are: Virgin1, Virgin1+1, 4Music, Yesterday, Dave, Dave ja vu, Quest, and Sky Sports News.

FSFS Viewing Card

Freesat from Sky differentiates itself from Freesat not just by its use of Sky equipment but by offering channels not available free to air. These extra channels are encrypted but are available Free to View, requiring a Sky viewing card to decrypt them. Also a viewing card is required for the box to display the region for regionialised services. A card is included with installation or can be purchased direct from Sky for £20. Channels gained from use of a viewing card include:

Also as of June 2008 some ITV1 regions have been encrypted again due to one of their narrow beam transponder agreements ending.

Also you will need a card to have the correct regional variations of programs in normal location {e.g; BBC One London on 101 etc.}

  • As of 13 October 2009, the FreesatFromSky website marks Investigation Discovery (from Discovery plc) as being available as one of the documentary channels on FreesatFromSky, this is a mistake, as this is only available on Sky subscription with the 'Knowledge pack')


  1. ^ List of Free To Air channels broadcast from the UK
  2. ^ "Digital TV, Q4 2008" (PDF). The Communications Market: Digital Progress Report - Digital TV, Q4 2008. Ofcom. 2009-04-06. pp. p14. Retrieved 2009-05-09.  

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