There have been rumours for a long while regarding ITV attempting to make deals with Sky for its non-PSB channels, such as ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and of course ITV-HD.
It is known that 'free' TV channels are struggling to find funds due to lack of advertising revenue during these hard times. Previously Sky have not been willing to make deals with ITV due to their rival investment in freesat, and also since Sky are known to not make deals unless the balance heavily tips in their favour.
Tomorrow we should get a public announcement that a deal between ITV and Sky has been made. It is highly likely ITV-HD will no longer be freesat exclusive, but the main concern is the outcome of ITV2, ITV3, ITV4. Sky will want these on their Pay-TV platform and ITV need the stable revenues Sky can offer. At this point, it is not looking good for freesat having long-term access to these channels!!
On the side-line, Channel 5 are uninterested in moving their non-PSB channels away from Sky, towards freesat. Five-US and Fiver will remain only available on the Sky platform. Whilst also waiting are Channel 4, who are openly struggling and have failed to get extra licence fee help to fund their losses and help save their non-PSB channels such as More4 and E4. It seems they will also easily be ready to sign back to Sky exclusivity on these extra channels, making them Pay-TV only. In any case, the outcome of the ITV and Sky announcement tomorrow will help map the direction for Channel 4 and its current finances struggle.
So with Sky holding the cards, and broadcasters desperately ready to jump ship, it is not looking good for freesat. Obviously this is on top of the already massively damaging effects that hardware manufacturers are creating for freesat. Many months of not supplying new low-budget receivers, and a constant lack of good supply since freesat launch, shows they arent ready to support the freesat platform, anticipating its failure maybe? All this goes on whilst the current recession (and cardsharing) is only helping Sky Pay-TV growth and market power.
Finally, all this with the extremely slow and poor lack of development, the bureaucracy of the governing bodies, and the lack of efforts and content from a 50% shareholder, you can do nothing but agree freesat has little future.