Digital 'now in three out of four UK homes'

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Ofcom's lastest digital television progress report suggests the proportion of UK households watching digital television on their main sets reached 73.3% by the end of September. Around 800,000 UK households took up digital TV for the first time in the third quarter of 2006, and of those, 600,000 were watching Freeview for the first time on the fast-growing digital terrestrial platform.

Ofcom said a growing number of homes was now watching digital TV on second and third sets: by the end of September there were nearly 8m additional sets connected to some form of digital receiver, up from 4m in the same period last year.

Key trends:


  • DTT-only households rose by 602,000 homes to 7,004,000 over the quarter
  • 9.3m UK households now have DTT on at least one set in the home (up from 6.8m in Q3, 2005).
  • Sales of DTT equipment during the quarter approached 1.4m (835,000 set-top-boxes and 556,000 televisions with integrated digital tuners), marking the fifth consecutive quarter with sales over the 1m mark. Sales in the quarter were up 36% on the same period last year.
  • More households watch DTT services than watch traditional analogue services on their main television set (7m versus 6.4m).

Digital satellite

  • DST remains the most popular digital television platform on primary television sets in UK households, with 33.9% of UK television homes (8.5m) either subscribed to BSkyB's television services or receiving free-to-view satellite services (Ofcom estimates that number is 750,000).

Digital cable

  • Ntl gained 22,000 additional television households over the quarter, the highest number of quarterly cable additions for over two years; 88% of all cable television households were digital, up from 80% in September 2005.

Lovelace Consulting  |  20.12.2006

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