Multichannel TV makes inroads

World Brief

Multichannel TV is now in more than half of all British homes.

New figures put multichannel penetration in the market at 50% by the end of 2001, up 8% from the previous year.

The growth, however, was in large part due to the success of satcaster BSkyB’s Sky Digital platform, which has about 6 million subscribers. Rival terrestrial platform ITV Digital, as well as cablers NTL and Telewest, are struggling to add to their tallies.

Brits also are buying into the DVD boom, with player penetration in homes up from 5% in 2000 to 17% in 2001.

Meanwhile, Internet penetration almost doubled to 35% of U.K. households last year.

TV advertising sales fell 13% in the U.K. in the final quarter of 2001. Overall, sales dropped 11% from 2000, down $601 million to sales of $4.95 billion.

The downturn especially affected ITV, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster. Carlton and Granada, the two big ITV companies, were hurt by their continued funding of ITV Digital, a troubled pay TV platform.

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