U.K. digital TV penetration hits 87%


LONDON -- U.K. digital television penetration reached 87% of all households by the end of December 2007 as over 524,000 British households upgraded to digital in the three months to Dec. 31, according to new figures released by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom Thursday.

The figures were driven by continued strong growth of digital terrestrial television conversions, which numbered 361,700 during the quarter, while cable and satellite operators together added over 280,000 new subscriptions. The U.K. is estimated to have 27 million television homes.

Almost half the growth came from homes adopting free-to-air digital terrestrial television, which rose by 243,000 to 9.5 million over the quarter. BSkyB, the biggest pay television operator, was estimated to have 8.3 million subscribers while a further 1 million homes had free-to-air satellite television.

Cable households rose to 3.5 million, growing by 61,000 net new additions.