Media / Talk of the Trade: How many homes have dishes?

THE British Audience Research Board (Barb), which provides TV ratings, has moved to end confusion about how many private homes have satellite dishes. Barb says that on 1 January, there were 2,297,000 homes with satellite. This is 300,000 fewer than the estimate of Continental Research, whose monitor is regularly published in the Financial Times. ITV yesterday seized on the Barb report as proof that the satellite monopoly on live Premier league football had not delivered the expected huge audience. Andrew Quinn, chief executive of the ITV Network Centre, said it destroyed some of the myths surrounding the impact of satellite. Sales have slowed in the past six months: in part this is due to the recession, in part to Sky's increasing switch to a subscription-only service. But it would be rash to write off satellite yet.