Digital TV In The UK



The UK is likely to lag behind the Nordic countries and even Portugal in the analogue television switch-off, according to new research.

A new report by research company Datamonitor says that Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal have a better balance between the three digital platforms, - cable satellite and terrestrial. These countries are also more likely to offer subsidised set-top boxes.

Datamonitor analyst Christ Tant said: "It will be very challenging to switch off analogue in the UK by the government's target date of 2010."

In the UK, Sky dominates digital television services with 6.3 million households compared to 2.1 million for cable and 1.3 million for digital terrestrial. Pay-TV services, as offered by Sky, will never appeal to a certain number of the population and are reaching its natural limit, according to Tant.

Datamonitor expects 18 million UK households to have made the switch to digital by 2007, with digital terrestrial (Freeview) rapidly catching up with Sky.

Despite what appears to be a rapid take-up of digital terrestrial, there are still far fewer viewers than a year ago.