Free-to-air television service Freeview has saved the bacon of UK digital terrestrial TV according to BBC directors. The claim follows news that four million more UK homes now have access to digital TV, radio and interactive services than before Freeview's launch twenty months ago.

Andy Duncan, the BBC director of marketing, communications and audiences is particularly encouraged: "The Freeview figures show that the free proposition has really cut through and is currently the single most important factor in driving digital take-up".

BBC director of strategy and distribution, Carolyn Fairbairn, sees the figures as "a considerable landmark" that has overcome the "crisis" of dTTV to place it as the UK's second largest digital platform.

The latest figures follow Ofcom's report on Freeview's performance in the first quarter of 2004 [WAMN: 04-Jun-04]. This showed Freeview usage up by 19.5% compared with the previous quarter.

The leap in Freeview numbers is good news for the BBC, not only in terms of showcasing its digital services to over 13 million homes and smoothing the process of analogue signal phase-out in 2010, but also because of its substantial investment of public money in the project.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff