Britain's Digital TV Growth Soars as ITV Share Sags

01 March 2006

A further one million UK households moved from analogue to digital TV during the first nine months of 2005, reports the nation's media and communications regulator Ofcom.

The accelerating trend to digital raised total dTV penetration to 66% of all UK homes - 5.8 million via the free-to-air Freeview platform plus 10.8m shared between satellite broadcaster BSkyB and soon-to-merge cable operators NTL and Telewest.

Digital takeup has spurred growth in the audience for multichannel TV to 30.8%. Conversely, reach of the non-digital terrestrial channels continued to fall year-on-year.

Inevitably, the largest fell hardest, with ITV1 experiencing the greatest drop, its reach in December 2005 falling to 74.8%, compared with 78.7% twelve months prior..

The Ofcom survey also covers radio and telecommunications. The latter now accounts for over ten million UK broadband internet connections, underscoring the growing the convergence between TV and telecoms.

The digital revolution has also embraced radio, with DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) transmissions doubling their national reach year-on-year to 10.5% in the quarter to September 30 last year.

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff