Satellite and cable TV’s share of viewing has topped ten per cent and pushed Channel 4 into fifth place for the first time, according to the latest BARB viewing data.
In the seven days to March 17, ITV beat BBC 1 with a 35.9 per cent viewing share, compared with 33.1 per cent; BBC 2 achieved a 10.7 per cent share, marginally ahead of Channel 4’s ten per cent.
By contrast, “other viewing”, which covers all cable and satellite, enjoyed a 10.2 per cent share of TV viewing. Cable and satellite channels are now available in 21 per cent of UK TV homes, representing more than 26 per cent of UK viewers.
The record share was boosted by a bumper weekend of sport on Sky’s two sports channels, including the Prince Naseem fight and coverage of the Cricket World Cup.
Other top-rating Sky programmes included Space Above & Beyond and Jag on Sky One. Five episodes of The Simpsons entered the top ten that week.
“As a milestone, beating a terrestrial channel ranks alongside exceeding 5 million customers and achieving our highest rating to date for the Bruno-McCall fight, when in-home viewing was 3.4 million, and the total audience 15 to 20 million,” a Sky spokesman says.
David Colley, managing director of Videotron, has been appointed chairman of London Interconnect, the alliance of cable companies operating in Greater London. London Interconnect aims to develop cable by offering competitive, tailor-made cable TV and telephony services.