The UK Television Landscape Report

UK households by TV platform

17 January 2017


This tracker focuses on the platforms viewers use to watch linear TV. Q3 2016 has seen a continuing increase in the number of homes with terrestrial-only access, and a continuing slow decrease in the number of Sky TV households. Access to cable, YouView and Freesat remains broadly stable.

The platform categories used are as follows.

  • Cable: homes that claim to receive cable. These households are almost entirely Virgin Media customers.

  • Freesat: homes which have access to Freesat, either through a set-top box or integrated into the TV set. This does not include former Sky homes which do not have a live subscription but continue to use their Sky set-top box to watch free satellite channels.

  • Other satellite: this category includes former Sky subscribers as well as viewers watching smaller, typically international, satellite service providers like Polsat.

  • Sky subscription: homes that pay for a Sky subscription package (not including Now TV customers who don’t pay for a Sky subscription package).

  • Terrestrial: all homes which have access to digital terrestrial TV via their aerials. This includes any homes across all categories which also have access to terrestrial.

  • Terrestrial only: the subset of terrestrial households that do not have access to either cable or satellite reception. This includes most BT TV, TalkTalk TV and YouView homes.

  • YouView: all households that have the BT, TalkTalk or YouView platforms. The great majority of these homes will be using the YouView interface, but the figure will include a small number of homes using older versions of BT TV and TalkTalk TV.