Freeview sales push digital TV to 86.7%

Nearly 87% of UK homes were receiving digital television by the end of last year, according to figures released by Ofcom today.

The proportion increased by 1.6% during the final three months of 2007 largely fuelled by a record month of sales for Freeview.

About 4m Freeview products were sold in the period including 243,000 digital TV newcomers.

Freeview sales during the final quarter were up nearly 70% year-on-year with sales of integrated digital TVs up 132%. Ofcom said: "IDTV sales exceeded those of set top boxes by a significant margin for the first time in Q4 2007."

Meanwhile, Sky gained 145,000 net additions, free-to-view satellite added 50,000 and Virgin Media recorded its best quarter since 2000 with 61,100 net new customers.

The quarter also saw Freeview's DTT equipment sales since launch in October 2002 pass 27m.

Ilse Howling, general manager of the service, said: "The latest Ofcom figures once again show an excellent quarter for Freeview.

"As people look to convert additional sets in the home or replace existing equipment with enhanced features such as those offered by Freeview Playback (digital video recorders), it is clear that a one-off payment, coupled with Freeview’s quality channel line up continues to be a winning formula."