Digital TV penetration grows to 84%—Ofcom

Take-up of digital television grew by 3.5% in the second quarter of 2007 to stand at 84%, according to Ofcom's latest digital progress report. The figure equates to 21.4m households watching digital TV on their main television sets, and was boosted by the sale of nearly 1.9m Freeview devices (set-top-boxes as well as integrated digital TV sets) during the quarter, up from 1.2m in the second quarter of 2006.

Ofcom said DTT-only households accounted for 81% of the growth in digital TV homes in the second quarter, rising by 763,000 to around 9.1m.

During the quarter BSkyB grew its customer base by 77,000 to nearly 8.1m. Ofcom estimates there are an additional 945,000 free-to-view digital satellite homes, taking total satellite homes to 9m.

Total free-to-view digital households, including satellite and terrestrial, stood at nearly 10.1m by the end of June.

The total number of homes with cable continued to rise with over 3.4m subscribers at the end of the quarter. Cable saw its highest penetration since the second quarter of 2004, accounting for 13.4% of homes.

Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said: "More than four in five UK households are now enjoying the benefits of digital television. It's extremely encouraging that we are continuing to see the market grow strongly with less than a month until Whitehaven becomes the first place to fully switch to digital television."

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