UK pay TV subscribers rise to 17.4 million

Data suggests that subscription TV services remain a popular service for viewers despite the growing popularity of on-demand and catch-up services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

As Sky and Virgin Media continue to lead the way, BT TV now has 6% of subscriptions and the report says launching its next Ultra HD service later this year could double its share by 2017.

BT Sport will broadcast its first football game in Ultra HD in August, when Chelsea and Arsenal meet in The Community Shield. The arrival of BT Sport Europe and its commitment to broadcast every Champions League and Europa League game is also expected to boost audience figures.

Director of Strategic Analysis for Connected Home Devices David Watkins said: “Being the first to market a UHD sports channel may well cause a few more customers from BT’s competitors to jump ship. “

“BT is hoping to steal a march on Sky and Virgin. It has already become a serious threat to Sky’s dominance by spending massive amounts of money to secure premium sports broadcast rights.”

Sales of Ultra HD TVs with smart features are expected to grow 225% this year and are expected to reach 850,000 homes by 2016 and 40% of all homes by the end of the decade.

Source: Advanced television

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