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Half of all UK homes pay for additional TV channels

Published: 13/04/2009 by Comments

Nearly 13 million homes in the UK are paying for additional television channels according to the latest Digital Progress Update released by the media regulator, Ofcom. The report, which reviews the fourth quarter of 2008, revealed that 49.5% of viewers in the country, are now opting to shell out for a satellite or cable service on their main TV set. This is an increase of 48.6% on the previous quarter.

With only 11.2% sticking with analogue TV sets, BSkyB saw the most rapid increase during the quarter, with 188,000 new subscribers to its services. The advent of HD television is already having an impact on our viewing habits, with 521,000 households signing up to Virgin Media’s V+ HD service.BBC/ITV Freesat HD also grew to 172,000 by the end of last year.

Free multichannel services, such as Freeview, are also proving popular, with 10 million UK homes choosing this one-payment service.

The impact of the digital switchover is already being felt, as these latest figures demonstrate that 88.8% of UK homes now have some form of digital television service on their main TV set, while 60% of secondary TV sets were converted to multichannel by the end of the fourth quarter.

“The most common form of digital television is digital terrestrial television, found in 17.7 million households, with 4.5 million DTT devices (HD-capable TVs and set-top boxes) being sold in Q4, driven by “record sales” of HD-capable integrated digital TVs,” Ofcom revealed in the latest update.’‘High Definition television will be nationwide at the end of the digital switchover in 2012.

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