Digital Television Update - 2005 Q2

15 September 2005

Executive summary

By 30 June 2005 digital TV penetration was estimated to have reached 63.0% of UK households, up from 61.9% at 31 March 2005.

In addition 2.8% of households were subscribing to analogue cable, bringing the total receiving some form of multi-channel television to just over 65.8%.  Within these total figures, the key developments in the second quarter of 2005 were:

  • The number of digital television households grew by almost 298,000 during the quarter, increasing digital penetration by 1.1% points.
  • Freeview (DTT) had another strong quarter of growth with over 700,000 sales of Freeview set top boxes and IDTV's by the end of Q2. This exceeded the corresponding quarter for 2004, when 496,000 sales were added.
  • BSkyB's subscriber numbers in the UK increased by 75,000 to reach 7,424,000 in the UK at the end of Q2 2005.
  • The total number of subscribers to cable television also increased in the quarter to just over 3.3 million. Digital cable increased by over 57,000 in Q2 and now accounts for over 2.6 million of the total.
  • The number of households with Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television) as the only digital platform is estimated to have grown to almost 5,178,000 by the end of June 2005.  Up by over 118,000 during the quarter.
  • Latest estimates suggest there are also around 492,000 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 5.7 million free-to-view digital households. (Freeview (DTT), plus free-to-view satellite).

In calculating DTT households, an adjustment has been made to account for the number of households which have digital TV on more than one set. Latest estimates suggest that almost 30% of Freeview boxes are used on secondary sets in households that already have a digital platform, (either Freeview, Sky or cable), on their main set. No adjustment has been made to the Sky or cable figures as these are already shown net of second receivers (e.g. a household with two Sky boxes is only recorded once).

Full Report

Digital Television Update - 2005 Q2 (PDF, 139.3 KB)