There will be 96.7 million digital television households worldwide by the end of the year, according to a new report by Informa Media Group. TV International Sourcebook 2003 indicates that the
end-2003 figure represents a 15.5 million increase on the end-2002 figure. The report, which covers 50 countries, states that this 2003 figure gives 10% penetration of global TV households, though the
proportion is as high as 42% in North America. The number of digital homes in North America is expected to reach nearly 50 million by end-2003, representing 51% of the global total. The U.S. alone
will contribute 45 million, with the U.K. in second place with 10.8 million digital homes. Digital DTH/DBS platforms, such as DirecTV in the U.S. and British Sky Broadcasting PLC in the U.K., will
supply 55 million (57%) to the total. However, digital cable is gaining ground fast, adding 9 million homes in 2003 to bring its total to 37 million (39% of the total) by year-end 2003. Digital
terrestrial television is likely to double its numbers in 2003 despite high profile closures of subscription packages in the U.K. and Spain. DTT is expected to benefit from free services such as
Freeview in the U.K. and the rollout of services in several countries.