Freeview, the UK's free-to-view digital terrestrial platform, increased its share of the digital television market to 35.1% in the three-month period to the end of September. That's up from a 28.2% share a year ago, and 32.9% share by the end of June, according to new research released by media regulator Ofcom.
Its Q3 Digital Television Update reveals a UK digital television penetration of 65.9% of UK households, up from 55.9% a year ago, and 63% in the previous quarter, as a further 760,235 homes made the switch the digital, taking the total to 16,475,413.
According to Ofcom, the number of households with Freeview as the only digital platform grew to 5.8m, up from 5.2m at the end of the previous quarter. Ofcom estimates there are around 545,000 free-to-view digital satellite homes, taking the UK free-to-view digital household total to 6.3m, 1.2m behind BSkyB's UK subscriber base.
While Sky remains the UK's dominant digital broadcaster with a 48.7% share, its digital market leadership position has slipped from 53.6% on the year. Merging cable operators ntl and Telewest saw their share of the digital television market fall to 16.1% from 18.1% on the year.
Pay-TV's UK penetration stood at 43.2% at the end of September, up one percentage point on the year but hardly unchanged on the previous quarter.
Total multichannel homes—those taking either digital cable, satellite, terrestrial, ADSL or analogue cable—had a 68.5% penetration at the end of Q3, up from 59.4% a year ago, and up from 65.8% by the end of June.
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