The leap in Sky's customer base will help it continue to dominate multichannel TV. Freeview is set to rise to 4.9m from 3.5m homes, making it the fastest-growing medium.
Jon Beaumont, director at Continental Research, said: "In terms of new growth, it is likely that Sky will actually outperform cable, especially with a concerted fourth quater marketing push."
Digital TV take-up is expected to reach 15.9m homes by 2005, an increase of 2.5m. This figure will count for 66% of all homes.
Beaumont added: "However, the launch of FreeSat in October will possibly impact on the Freeview sales, and the general structure and growth of the market."
To receive FreeSat will require a £160 one-off payment for installation of a satellite dish and set-top box. The service will comprise more than 100 TV channels and cover 97% of the UK. This compares with a £50 one-off payment for Freeview that has 30 TV channels and 70% coverage.
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