80%+ UK homes are digital

Almost 85 per cent of UK homes now have digital television on their main set Ofcom says. Household take up of digital television – via Freeview, digital satellite or cable TV – stood at 84 per cent at the end of June, up from 80.5 per cent three months earlier, according to the media regulator’s latest digital television progress report. The number of multichannel households, which also includes analogue cable homes, has reached 85 per cent of the UK total. This is up 13 per cent over the year, the strongest 12 months’ growth to date, Ofcom said.

At the end of June there were 9.14 million Freeview-only homes, up from 8.38 million three months earlier. Almost 1.9 million Freeview devices were sold during the quarter – over a million of them to homes that already had digital TV.

Satellite and cable also took a share in the growth, with 8.09 million customers paying for BSkyB’s satellite service in the UK and 3.41 million subscribers to the Virgin Media cable service, 3.13 million of those on digital.

Cable’s penetration, at 13.4 per cent of homes, was at its highest since the second quarter of 2004. This compared with 35.9 per cent for digital terrestrial, or Freeview, and 35.5 per cent for satellite, of which 3.7 per cent was free-to-view satellite.

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