300,000 digital TVs sold in France within the first 3 weeks of DTT service

Only three weeks after the launch of the new DTT service in France the number of boxes sold has reached the record number of 300,000. No country in Europe has had such a successful launch in the first weeks. In UK, where Freeview has had a tremendous success, sales were 500,000 in the first four months. In Germany sales were 180,000 in the first eight months and in Italy 20,000 boxes in the first month, Screen Digest says.

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But looking more closely at these figures shows that France cannot sustain this growth. Sales in the first three weeks have decreased rapidly week by week, a completely different trend to that seen in Italy, Germany or UK where sales are still growing strongly. In France sales in the first week hit 110,000 units, plummeting to 65,000 in the second week, and 34,000 in the following week. Note that 75,000 boxes had already been sold prior to the launch of the service on 31 March 2005. The French audio-visual and electronic goods trade group Simavelec estimates that between 700,000 and 1m boxes will be sold by end 2005. This equates to around 50,000-75,000 boxes a month, a figure that has been achieved in only the first two weeks of marketing.