UK's ITV2 Overtakes Sky for Top Multichannel Ratings Spot

09 January 2006

The UK's multichannel TV platforms go from strength to strength in terms of viewer numbers.

Ratings data for 2005, produced by BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board), show ITV2 was the most watched of the digital offerings, helped by spinoffs from flagship stablemate ITV1's reality shows.

ITV2 leapfrogged from third place in the 2004 ratings, knocking News Corporation-controlled satellite giant BSkyB's Sky One from the top spot.

Newcomers to the top ten are ITV3, with its mix of movie repeats and back catalogue comedy and drama aimed at the over-35 audience. Meanwhile, the publicly-funded BBC's digital offering BBC3 grew its audience share by nearly 30% year-on-year.

The digital terrestrial platform, Freeview, available free via a single payment for a digital decoder, is home to many of the top ten multichannel services. These are now received by 5.7 million UK households, reports media regulator Ofcom.

Its main rival, Sky, has more than 8 million subscribers.

Channel Share of viewing in multi-channel homes
1. ITV2 (2.02%)
2. Sky One (1.89%)
3. Sky Sports 1 (1.73%)
4. E4 Total (1.62%)
5. UKTV Gold Total (1.58%)
6. CBeebies (1.30%)
7. Living Total (1.27%)
8. ITV3 (1.16%)
9. BBC3 (0.86%)
10. Hallmark (0.81%)

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff