Research for UK media regulator Ofcom suggests that by 2012, the point at which the Government aims to have completed digital switchover, just 9% of UK households will be reliant on analogue-only television.
The research is contained in an as-yet unreleased report for Ofcom, compiled by Scientific Generics, the IT and business consultancy. A MediaGuardian report said researchers had reached the 9% figure (which equates to 2.3m households) by extrapolating current digital take-up rates.
Ford Ennals, chief executive of Digital UK, the industry-funded body coordinating the 2008-2012 region-by-region timetable confirmed by culture secretary Tessa Jowell last month, told MediaGuardian the 9% figure was half the number of digital refuseniks predicted two years ago.
"In the last year, 2.5m more people in the UK have gone digital with an 18% increase in the second quarter of this year. The steady rise has been encouraged by the behaviour of the broadcasters.
"It's hard not to watch terrestrial TV these days and not wish you had ITV2 or increasingly ITV3 or to hear about seeing the next episode of Lost on E4 right after you watched this week's episode on Channel 4 and the BBC is increasingly cross-promoting and previewing shows on its digital channels as well," said Ennals.
MediaGuardian said the Ofcom report would be published within the next couple of weeks.
Freeview is currently estimated to have around 5.5m UK households to Sky's 7.4m, while digital cable is in 2.6m homes.
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