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Norway’s HDTV transition puts Sky’s “success” in the shade

by User Not Found | Jun 27, 2008

As I have pointed out recently, the publicity surrounding HD broadcasting in the UK, whether it’s Sky HD, Freesat or DTT’s future plans, has not been matched by the pace of consumer adoption. This is in sharp contrast to the experience of our Norwegian neighbours across the North Sea, where the decision by pay TV operator Canal Digital to remove the additional HD subscription fee has led to a surge in HDTV viewing in recent months. While Sky has just reduced the fee for a new HD set-top box, it still charges viewers an additional £10 a month to watch the limited number of HD channels available, and that depends on what premium packages customers pay for. As a result, only 5% of Sky viewers can currently access HD channels. By contrast, 25% of Norwegian customers of Canal Digital are now watching HD programmes, according to Strategy Analytics’ estimates. On a similar basis, Sky could have reached more than 2 million HD viewers by now, four times its actual level. The time will come sooner or later when the HD fee is removed, at least for some channels. HD broadcasters not owned by Sky, such as Discovery and National Geographic, must be frustrated that their audiences are not building more rapidly and will surely increase the pressure for a change in policy before too long, as will Freesat and Virgin Media as they slowly but surely improve their HD offers. Client Reading: High Definition TV, Video and Digital Media Devices: Global Market Forecast Add to Technorati Favorites
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