London, ENGLAND–Recent data released from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) and the BBC, reveals that over 50 percent of all UK viewers can now access digital TV, in the form of Sky digital, Freeview or digital cable.
Sky digital leads the market with service in seven million homes in the UK and Ireland. BSkyB hopes to reach eight million homes by the end of 2005. Digital cable is in two million UK homes. The Freeview digital terrestrial service, including approximately 50 TV channels, is also received in two million households. Freeview is marketed by DTV Services Ltd, a company run by three shareholders–the BBC, Crown Castle International and BSkyB.
Additionally, The Guardian reported that BBC Four audience has grown by 145 percent between 2002 and 2003.
The British government responded favorably to the news of the half-way milestone, as it aims to convert the entire UK population to digital by 2010, and sell the current analog signal spectrum.
Recent data also reveals an increase in UK DTV equipment sales, which now average 100,000 per week.