By 31 December 2004 digital TV penetration was estimated to have reached almost 60% of UK households, at 59.4%, up from 55.9% at 30 September 2004.
In addition 3.2% of households were subscribing to analogue cable, bringing the total receiving some form of multi-channel television to just over 62.6%. Within these total figures, the key developments were:
The total number of digital television households grew by 914,980 over the quarter, increasing digital penetration by 3.5 percentage points.
BSkyB’s subscriber numbers increased by 177,000 to reach 7,262,000 in the UK at the end of Q4 2004.
Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television) saw a very strong increase, with household numbers estimated to have grown to around 4,592,920 in the same period.
Latest estimates suggest there are also around 385,000 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 almost 5 million free-to-view digital households. (Freeview (DTT), plus free to view satellite).
The total number of subscribers to cable television remained around 3.3 million. Digital cable accounts for just over 2.5 million of the total, with 11,500 additions in Q4.
An adjustment has been made to account for the number of households which have digital on more than one set. Latest estimates suggest that 25% 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.
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