Latest details are that it will be 3rd week October. Uk distributors were advised today and so it is very close. £150 installed, no phone line... However the £20 card for existing equipment owners is not confirmed yet..
''Thank you for your email regarding a "Free to View" viewing card.
Regrettably none of the broadcasters of the "Free to View" channels (ITV1, Channel 4 or Channel 5) using the digital satellite platform have current plans to make viewing cards available to customers. Arrangements that previously existed were discontinued by the Free-to-View broadcasters on 31st January 2004.
If you wish to obtain a viewing card to enable you to view these channels via your digibox you will need to subscribe to one of the Sky packages priced from 13.50 (GBP) a month.
Pressing the Services key on your remote control and pressing option 2 can obtain the telephone numbers of the broadcasters who are offering subscription packages.
If I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me at the above email address.
This is the current situation but within days you will have 2 choices. A new system fully fitted and a card for £150.. or £20 for a card only to use in existing equipment. Sky have not made the announcement yet but will very soon. The broadcasters themselves have NEVER supplied cards direct, always managed via Sky..
They are clearly mainly hoping for people who are new to satellite who they can then try to convert to a subscription. The info about the card only option for people who already have equipment is buried in the FAQs.
Smart move SKY. People pay GBP 150 up front and then subscribe later means no need to supply a free box!