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U.S., Western European DTV households to reach 274 million by 2012, says report

The adoption of digital television in the United States and Western Europe will show strong growth over the next two years, according to a new report form research organization Datamonitor.

The report, “Western European and U.S. Digital TV Adoption, 2008 (Strategic Focus),” forecasts that the switch-off of analog over-the-air transmission in the United States next year and analog shutdown in most Western European countries before 2012 will result in solid DTV growth.

According to the report, by 2012 the number of households in the United States and Western Europe using digital television programming services will climb to 274 million, up nearly 116 million from the 2007 level. Additionally, the number of digital terrestrial television (over-the-air) households in Europe and the United States will grow from 26 million in 2007 to 55 million by 2012 — an average annual growth rate of 16 percent, it forecasts.

However, Datamonitor also anticipates a “significant migration” away from free-to-air services over the medium and long term. Bundled offerings like triple play, enhanced services and premium content will chip away at the over-the-air audience, according to the report.

The two fastest growing digital television platforms in Europe and the United States will be digital cable and DTT. Datamonitor expects they will achieve net household increases of 50 million and 30 million, respectively.

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