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UK tops digital TV viewing growth league

Eighty-eight per cent of UK households had converted their main TV set to digital by the end of 2008, up 3% year-on-year. That figures comes from communications regulator Ofcom’s International Communications Market data that compares the UK’s communications market with 11 other countries.

Of the surveyed countries, the UK had the highest digital TV penetration. The US was next with 76% of households having digital services, followed by Spain with 74%, up 18%.

The UK had the second highest take-up of digital terrestrial TV services at the end of 2008 at 38%. Spain had the highest take-up at 45%. Digital satellite TV was received by 36% of the UK population, behind Ireland and Poland.

UK viewers also increased the amount of TV they watch by more than any other surveyed country, up by 3.2% to 3.8 hours a day. This was higher than the average 3.5 hours per day across the European countries surveyed, but still slightly less than viewers in Italy, Poland and Spain. US viewers consumed the most television in 2008, watching on average 4.6 hours a day, up 1.8% from 2007, whilst viewers in Sweden continued to watch the least at 2.7 hours a day.

Growth in the number of broadband connections continued in all surveyed countries in 2008, although the average rate of growth more than halved from 20.9% in 2007 to 9.1%. Over the five years to 2008 the UK had the second highest growth in broadband lines per person, at 23 connections per 100 people. During the same period the highest rate of growth was in the Netherlands at 25 connections per 100 people.