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Digital TV Service Choice for British Consumers

Louise Kavanagh, Managing Director of Apogee, has studied the competitive market environment as the UK approaches the final months of the digital television service switchover.

"We now have a more complete picture of the intersection between the alternative delivery systems for linear, digital and interactive TV services and there are significant gaps -- particularly in broadband roll-out. Our estimates show that the consumers choice of what to watch and how will be restricted for up to seven and a half million households in Britain," says Kavanagh.

Estimates from the analysis Apogee has done put the number of households without access to the primary DTT channels at over four million today.

This number is coming down as the digital TV switchover continues. But, it is predicted that there will still be some households in Britain unable to receive both PSB1 and PSB2 at the end of 2012.

There are other platforms that allow viewers to access interactive digital content. Satellite, cable and high-speed broadband are available in many parts of the country.

Analysis of the intersection between the availability of DTT and high-speed Internet access, with data from Point Topic, reveals some interesting national statistics.

- At least 3.1 million households will rely solely on digital terrestrial or satellite delivery for their TV at the end of 2012.

- 7.6 million households will only be able to get high-definition (HD) live or streamed programs via digital terrestrial or satellite at the end of 2012.

- 90,000 households will not have access to many digital terrestrial channels and won't be able to get TV over the Internet by the end of 2012. For a full service their only choice will be satellite TV offerings.

The UK audience now has more choice than ever before, but availability will be varied based upon the location. Even for those out of reach of the full digital experience they will still have an expanded set of TV service options.

At the end of the last decade the whole UK was in essence a captive audience for broadcast TV. However, consumers now shift between platforms, time-shift content on a regular basis and have access to an increased range of programming or other entertainment options.

"In an ever more competitive marketplace the struggle to get a message in front of as many people as you can as cost effectively as you can is complicated. With complication comes opportunity though, at least for those that manage to navigate the digital intersection" says Kavanagh.

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