Freeview leads digital growth

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The latest figures from Ofcom, the UK regulator, indicate the continuing growth of digital take-up across the UK. The fastest rate of growth has been shown by Freeview, which was up by almost 19 per cent on the previous quarter.

A new report - Key Developments In The Digital Television Market - was published today (2 June).

In the report Ofcom says:

  • By 31 March 2004, digital television penetration was estimated to have increased to 53 per cent of UK households, up from 50 per cent from the previous quarter. This represents an increase of 2.8 per cent , with an additional 710,000 households adopting digital television during the quarter, bringing the total number of households to more than 13 million (13,072,261).
  • A further 4 per cent of households subscribed to analogue cable during the quarter, bringing the total number of households receiving some form of multi-channel television to almost 57 per cent . [Source: ntl results Q1 2004, and Telewest Broadband results Q1 2004]
  • Sky's UK subscriber base continued to grow, adding 66,000 subscribers to its pay-TV service over the quarter to bring the total number to almost 7 million (6,956,000). [Source: Sky results Q1 2004]
  • Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television) uptake has increased by 18.6 per cent on the previous quarter, with household numbers estimated to have grown to around 3.5 million (3,468,100). [Source: Freeview sales figures Q1 2004, and Ofcom market estimates]
  • The total number of subscribers to cable television (both digital and analogue) is estimated to have increased slightly during the quarter to around 3.3 million (3,325,275), of which digital cable now accounts for around 2.4 million (2,408,530). [Source: ntl results Q1 2004, and Telewest Broadband results Q1 2004]

Key developments in the broadband market:

  • At the end of April 2004, the UK had reached almost 4 million broadband users (3,992,500), with over 40,000 new connections each week. [Source: Operators and Ofcom estimates]
  • Ofcom's market research also shows that the decline in the use of narrowband services has continued as consumers upgrade to broadband. 67 per cent of adults connect to the internet at home using narrowband, down from 73 per cent in November 2003. [Source: Ofcom's market research]
  • 53 per cent of UK adults now have internet access at home, up from 50 per cent in November 2003. 25 per cent of these adults now connect to the Internet using broadband. [Source: Ofcom's market research]

The full Ofcom Digital TV update is available at:
www.ofcom.org.uk/research/industry_market_research/m_i_index/dtv

The full Ofcom Internet and Broadband update is available at:
www.ofcom.org.uk/research/consumer_audience_research/int_bband_updt/may2004

Lovelace Consulting  |  02.06.2004

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