Digital Television Update - 2008 Q2

03 October 2008


Survey results for the three months to the end of June 2008 show that take-up of multichannel television on main sets in UK households increased by 0.8 percentage points (pp), from 87.2% to 88.0%, and by 4.5pp year-on-year.

With a majority of main sets now able to receive digital TV, many consumers are now converting additional sets in the home; over half (55%) of all secondary TV sets had been converted to multichannel by the end of Q2.

Taking these figures together, the proportion of all TV sets converted to multichannel reached 69% in Q2 2008, with the remaining 31% continuing to receive only analogue terrestrial broadcasts. This means that over the last twelve months, the proportion of analogue-only terrestrial sets fell by almost 10 percentage points, from 41% in Q2 2007.

Other key findings

Other key findings in the second quarter of 2008 include:

  • Over 22.5m million households had multichannel television equipment connected to their primary set by the end of Q2 2008.
  • More than two million digital terrestrial television (DTT) devices were sold during the period, up by 21% on Q2 2007. Integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) accounted for around 1.4 million units of these - up 54% on twelve months ago - while set-top boxes accounted for over 0.8 million. Over the past year more than 11.7 million DTT units have been sold, compared to around 7.6 million in the previous year.
  • DTT-only households accounted for around a quarter of all growth in multichannel main sets in Q2, rising by around 78,000 to reach 9.7 million homes.
  • Free-to-view digital satellite homes increased by almost 120,000 to 840,000 in the quarter, contributing over a third of net additions to multichannel main sets. More than 40% of households (around 10 million) now have some form of free-to-view digital television (either DTT or free-to-view satellite) on their main set.
  • The total number of homes with satellite (either pay or free-to-view) in Q2 reached 37.3% or almost 9.6 million. Pay satellite homes accounted for around 8.7m (91%) of these with free-to-view making up the remainder.
  • Cable was the primary viewing platform in 12.5% of homes in Q2. Virgin Media reported net additions of around 24,000 new subscribers taking their total subscriber base to over 3.5 million. Digital cable added over 42,000 subscribers in the quarter (including conversions from analogue cable) and now accounts for around 95% of all cable television customers.

We have made the following assumptions in this report:

  • In calculating platform totals, DTT-only homes are defined as those where DTT is the only multichannel television platform in the home. (Figures for homes which have DTT as well as another platform are included in Sections 2 and 3 of the report).
  • A household with either a satellite or cable subscription in addition to DTT equipment is counted primarily as a satellite or cable home.

Full Report 

Digital Television Update - 2008 Q2 (PDF, 157.6 KB)