Cable Shunned as Brits Flock to Multi-Channel TV

19 December 2002

The number of Britons subscribing to multi-channel TV rose again in this year’s third quarter, but those choosing to do so by cable fell.

According to new figures from the Independent Television Commission, the number of multi-channel homes rose 2.8% to over 11 million in the three months ending September.

Far and away the biggest provider is Murdoch-controlled satellite operator BSkyB, which boasted 6.06m subscribers at the end of Q3, a 26.9% market share.

However, the outlook is not so rosy for debt-beset cable firms NTL and Telewest. Cable’s penetration dropped from 14.9% in the third quarter 2001 to 13.8%, as a 6.2% drop in analogue subscribers to 1.4m was only partially offset by a 0.9% rise in digital customers to 2.03m.

The impact of the recent (and so far successful) launch of new digital terrestrial platform Freeview has not yet been logged by the ITC.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff