By 30 September 2004 digital TV penetration was estimated to have reached over 55.9% of UK households, up from 53.8% at 30 June 2004.(-1-)
In addition a further 3.5% of households were subscribing to analogue cable, bringing the total receiving some form of multi-channel television to over 59.4%. Within these total figures, the key developments were:
The total number of digital television households grew by 560,000 over the quarter, increasing digital penetration by 2.1%.
Sky's subscriber numbers increased by 53,000 to reach 7,085,000 in the UK at the end of Q3 2004.
Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television) also saw an increase, with household numbers estimated to have grown to around 3,915,000 in the same period.
Latest estimates suggest there are also around 345,000 free-to-view digital satellite homes. This figure includes viewers who are no longer Sky subscribers but still receive the public service channels through their set-top box. Also included in this figure are the “Solus” viewers who are able to receive the public service channels through this scheme.
In total there are now over 4.2 million free-to-view digital households. (Freeview (DTT), plus free to view satellite).
The total number of subscribers to cable television remained around 3.36 million. Digital cable now accounts for just over 2.5 million of the total, with 33,000 additions in Q3.
An adjustment has been made to account for the number of households which have digital on more than one set. Latest estimates suggest that 24% of sales of Freeview adapters in the last quarter were bought for use on second sets by people who already have digital (either Freeview, Sky or cable) on their main set. Sky and cable subscriber figures already account for multi-set users.
1.- Please note that figures for Q2 2004 have been re-stated in this report. The calculation of digital households has been revised to take account of more recent research relating to the number of DTT receivers which are used on second sets. This means that overall digital TV penetration for Q2 is now estimated at 53.8% compared to 55.4% as previously stated.
The full report is available via the link below.