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Digital Television Update - 2007 Q4

Q4 2007

Overview

1.1 In the three months to the end of December 2007 (Q4) there were 524,500 net UK household conversions to digital television (DTV), following 361,700 additions in the previous quarter. The DTT equipment market experienced its strongest quarter so far, with four million units sold, while the digital cable and satellite platforms together added over 280,000 digital households.

1.2 This means that 86.7% of households now receive digital television services on their primary set, up 1.6 percentage points since September 2007.

1.3 With a further 0.9% of households subscribing to analogue cable, the total number of homes receiving multi-channel television at the end of Q4 2007 has risen to 87.6%.

Other key findings

1.4 Other key findings in the fourth quarter of 2007 include:

  • 22.2 million households had digital TV equipment connected to their primary television set by the end of the period.
  • DTT sales reached over four million over the period, making Q4, the strongest quarter for sales so far, 69% higher than in the preceding year. Of these, integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) accounted for almost 2.3 million units - up 132% on Q4 2006 – and set top boxes accounted for almost 1.8 million, up 25% on the previous year. Across the whole of 2007, DTT sales exceeded 10.2 million, compared to around 6.2 million in 2006.
  • DTT-only households accounted for almost half (49%) of all growth in digital TV homes in Q4, rising by 243,000 to around 9,575,000 by the end of the quarter.
  • With just over 1 million homes using free-to-view digital satellite services by the end of Q4, 10.6m homes now watch free-to-view digital television (satellite or DTT) on their main set.
  • The number of BSkyB subscribers rose by 145,000 to reach almost 8.3 million by the end of the year. Taking account for free-to-view satellite, there were over 9.3 million satellite homes by the end of Q4 2007.
  • Net cable households overtook analogue terrestrial during the quarter to become the third most commonly used platform on main sets. This followed cable’s fastest growth rate for seven years, with 61,100 net additions during the quarter, taking the total subscriber base to 3.5 million, also the highest level of take-up since 2002. Digital cable subscribers increased by over 86,500 in Q4 to nearly 3.3 million; meaning 94% of all cable subscriptions are now digital.

1.5 The following assumptions are made in this report:

  • In calculating platform totals, DTT-only homes are defined as those where DTT is the only digital TV platform in the home. (Figures for all homes with DTT are included in section 3 of the report).
  • A household with either a satellite or cable subscription in addition to DTT equipment is counted primarily as a satellite or cable home.
  • In other words, for the purposes of calculating primary set conversion we assume that pay subscription services such as cable and satellite are generally in use on the main set in the home.

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