Digital TV Now Viewed in 66% of UK Homes

12 December 2005

Two thirds of Britain's 25 million homes now enjoy digital television, reports UK media and telecoms watchdog Ofcom in its Digital Television Update, a quarterly study of dTV penetration.

The latest report, published today (Monday), examines data provided by the main digital television platform providers for the July-September quarter. It shows that by the end of that period, dTV was viewed in 65.9% of UK households, up from 63.0% in the previous quarter.

Key trends include:

    Total Digital Television Viewing
  • By 30 September 2005, the total number of households viewing digital television grew by more than 760,000 to almost 16.5 million.

  • In total there are now more than 6.3 million free-to-view digital households (Freeview homes plus free-to-view satellite homes).

    Digital Terrestrial Television (Freeview)
  • There were more than one million sales of Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television or DTT) set-top boxes and televisions with integrated DTT tuners during the quarter. [Source: Freeview Q3 2005 sales figures].

  • This is a 55% increase year-on-year on Q3 2004, when there were 660,000 DTT sales.

  • The number of households with Freeview as their only source of digital television viewing is estimated to have grown to around 5,775,000 by the end of September 2005 - up by around 600,000 homes during the quarter. [Source: Ofcom market estimates,GfK]

    Digital Satellite Television
  • BSkyB added 48,000 subscribers, bringing its total number of UK subscribers to 7,472,000 at the end of Q3 2005. [Source: BSkyB results Q3 2005]

  • Latest estimates suggest there are also around 545,000 free-to-view digital satellite homes. This figure includes viewers who are no longer BSkyB subscribers but still receive the public service channels through their set-top box. Also included in this figure are the "Solus" viewers who are able to receive the public service channels through this scheme. [Source: Ofcom market estimates]

    Digital Cable Television
  • Digital cable subscribers increased by more than 43,300 in the quarter and now account for more than 2.6 million of the total cable television homes.

  • The total number of subscribers to analogue and digital cable television saw a slight decrease during the quarter and is now just below 3.3 million. This was as a result of a fall in analogue cable subscribers which outweighed an increase in digital cable subscriptions. [Source: cable company results Q3]
To view the full Ofcom Digital Television Update for Q3 2005 , click here.

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