Research released this weekend by the Independent Television Commission reveals that multichannel digital TV is now installed in nearly half of all UK households.

By the end of June, says the report, multichannel and digital TV penetration are estimated to have increased to 49.8% and 45.5% of UK households respectively, the latter growing in the second quarter by 1.6% over Q1.

The key factors leading to this upsurge were …

• The continuing growth of digital terrestrial TV, thanks to the BBC-backed platform Freeview, which had grown to an estimated 1.8m households at the end of the quarter;

• Satellite pay-TV operator BSkyB, which added 126,000 subscribers during the quarter, giving a total of 6.6m UK households;

• Cable also contributed to the growth in digital penetration by adding over 38,000 digital subscribers bringing the total number of digital cable homes to 2.2m.

The ITC’s data are supported by figures from advertising research body Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, whose July report revealed that multichannel TV platforms continued to erode the share of viewing held by traditional analogue channels during the first half of 2003.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff