Media regulator Ofcom has reportedly forecast that after bumper Christmas sales the UK's free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, Freeview, is about to pass the 10m-receiver mark.
Last month in its Q3 Digital Television Update Ofcom said there were 8.9m Freeview receivers in the market and 5.8m UK households solely relying on Freeview for their digital TV. MediaGuardian said Ofcom CEO Stephen Carter last week told a Royal Television Society dinner that the 10m milestone was close to being reached.
That implies Christmas sales of more than 1m set-top boxes, though not all of those will be for the main TV set in homes.
Earlier this month broadcasting minister James Purnell told the Commons culture committee's investigation into the Government's 2008-2012 switchover timetable that around 800,000 digital receivers were snapped up in the weeks before Christmas, a rise of 25% over the same period in 2004.
BSkyB, Britain's dominant pay-TV provider, reports its half-year results on Wednesday. Last month the satellite broadcaster said it had achieved its long-held target of 8m direct-to-home (DTH) subscribers in the UK and Ireland, and reiterated its medium-term goals: 10m DTH subscribers in 2010, with 25% penetration for Sky's personal video recorder service, Sky+, and 30% penetration for Sky Multiroom?the additional Sky set-top box service.
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