Digital Television Update - 2005 Q3

09 December 2005


As at 30 September 2005 Ofcom estimates that 65.9% of UK households, received digital TV services, up from 63.0% at 30 June 2005.

At the same time 2.6% of households subscribed to television services via analogue cable, bringing the total receiving some form of multi-channel television to just over 68.5%. Within these figures, the key developments in the third quarter of 2005 were:

  • The number of households receiving digital TV services rose by over 760,000 to almost 16.5 million during Q3, increasing digital penetration by 2.9 percentage points.
  • Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) had another strong quarter with over 1million sales of Freeview set top boxes and IDTV’s. This exceeded the 660,000 sales for the corresponding period in 2004.
  • On satellite, the number of BSkyB UK subscribers increased by 48,000 to reach 7,472,000 at the end of Q3 2005.
  • The total number of subscribers to cable television decreased slightly during the quarter and is now just below 3.3 million. This was a result of a fall in analogue cable subscribers which outweighed the increase in digital cable subscriptions. Digital cable subscribers increased by over 43,300 and now account 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 around 5,775,000 by the end of September 2005, up by almost 600,000 over the quarter.
  • Latest estimates suggest there are also around 545,000 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 viewers who are able to receive the public service channels through using a ‘Solus’ card.
  • In total there are now over 6.3 million free-to-view digital households. (Freeview (DTT), plus free-to-view satellite).

In this report, DTT (Freeview) homes are defined as those households where DTT is the only digital TV platform. Therefore a household with satellite or cable on the primary TV set and DTT on a second set, would be counted as a satellite or cable home.

Satellite and cable subscriber figures 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 Q3 (PDF, 139.2 KB)