Digital television penetration in the UK is estimated to have increased to 41.4% of households at the end of 2002, according to the ITC's latest Multichannel Quarterly published today. This is the first time that digital penetration has exceeded 40% in the UK. If current growth rates are sustained, digital TV take-up is on target to exceed internet penetration in the UK later this year.
Growth this quarter is particularly attributable to the positive development of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform and the continued take-up of digital satellite (DTH). Based on the best estimates currently available, Freeview added around 300,000 new DTT households in the period up to the end of 2002. There are now an estimated 1.3m Freeview homes in the UK. Digital satellite added a further 227,000 pay subscribers quarter on quarter and continues to lead the pay-TV market with some 6.3m subscribers in the UK.
Including analogue services, overall multi-channel penetration is estimated to have increased to almost 47% or 11.5m households. By the end of 2003 it is likely that the majority of households in the UK will have access to more than the five terrestrial services.
Notes to Editors
Due to delays in their reporting of year-end results, the ITC's Multichannel Quarterly has had to use estimates for ntl and Telewest fourth quarter data. An updated report will be issued following the release of the operators' Q4 results. At present, ntl and Telewest have not released official dates indicating when the results will be published.