Cable television sees 39% increase in subscribers

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THE number of homes subscribing to cable television in Great Britain grew by 239,000 to 841,000 in the year to July, a 39.7 per cent increase, according to figures from GfK Marketing Services, writes Maggie Brown .

Its monthly monitor service said that compared with a 19 per cent increase in the homes with satellite TV, up 430,000 to 2.685 million. The survey is carried out for the Independent Television Association. It said that subscriptions to cable television were proportionally more popular among the manual and unskilled social groups C2, D and E because the networks are concentrated in urban and inner city areas, which have a high population density.

David Elstein, director of programmes at Sky Television, said the satellite broadcaster had seen a dramatic demographic shift towards ABC1 (professional, managerial and white collar) subscribers, who now comprise 39 per cent of its audience, compared with 29 per cent a year ago. This is leading Sky to change its schedules, and buy in more drama and factual series to satisfy them.

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