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ITV1 suffers biggest fall as digital TV take-up leaps by 1m in 2005

LONDON - Digital television take-up continues to grow apace in the UK with 1m new households being added in the first three quarters of 2005.

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The UK now has 66% digital television penetration, with 5.8m Freeview homes and 10.8m connected to satellite and cable services such as Sky and NTL, Ofcom reported today in its interim communications report.

Other developments during include a growth in the audience for multichannel television to 30.8%. In contrast, year-on-year reach of the terrestrial channels continued to fall. ITV1 experienced the greatest drop, with reach in December 2005 dropping to 74.8%, compared with 78.7% in December 2004.

Ofcom's report, which also covers telecoms and radio, found that there are now more than 10m broadband connections in the UK, and highlighted the growing crossover between television and telecoms.

During the past six months, companies including O2 and BT have unveiled mobile television pilot results, and internet providers BT and AOL have revealed plans for broadband television.

Digital radio saw its share almost double to 10.5% over August to September last year, and Ofcom says it is likely to rise now that around 2.7m digital radio sets had been sold in the UK.

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