A UK media consultancy claims British digital satellite television operator BSkyB will be outpaced by rival platform Freeview in 2010.

Spectrum Strategy Consultants says Freeview, a free-to-air dTV platform backed by state-funded broadcaster, the BBC, is currently in more than five million British homes, compared with Sky's 7.8m subscribers. But by 2010, Spectrum expects Freeview to have surpassed Sky's projected ten million customers.

Freeview is available through a set-top box for a one of payment of as little as £35 ($63; €51).

Said Spectrum partner Janice Hughes, speaking at a Royal Television Society conference: "The cheapest option for people to get multi-channel is Freeview. If it continues to grow as it is growing, it will gain critical mass as a platform for ads. Therefore you get better content on it, higher audiences and more advertising."

Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff