Freeview breaks into digital top 10



UK digital terrestrial service Freeview has broken into the top 10 digital TV operators worldwide, according to recent findings from IMS Research. In its new report, The Digital Plans of the Top TV Operators, IMS Research compiled profiles of the top TV operators worldwide, based upon total subscribers.

“While at this time Freeview is a unique case, it has proven that it is possible for DTT to go head to head against cable and satellite operators,” commented Jack Mayo, market analyst at IMS Research.

IMS Research forecasts Worldwide DTT households to grow to 15.5 million in 2005. IMS Research estimates that DTT accounted for only 3.9 per cent of the total worldwide digital TV households in 2003. By 2009, however, IMS Research anticipates DTT to account for 19.8 per cent of the worldwide digital TV households.

US digital satellite platform DirecTV tops IMS’s rankings with 11.14 million digital subscribers, ahead of US rival EchoStar’s dish network on 9.785 million, with Comcast Cable’s 8 million subscribers heading the cable sector. BSkyB is Europe’s leading digital operator with 7.274 million. IMS suggest that Freeview’s 3.5 million subscribers place it ninth.

UK communications regulator Ofcom released figures December 14 that suggest that Freeview household numbers have grown to around 3.915 million by the end of November.