Publishing its International Communications Market Report 2015, the regulator said 31 million (70%) UK adults will watch TV using free-to-air catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub this December. This puts the island nation ahead of all other major European countries, the United States, Japan and Australia.
Online adults in the UK are the most likely to watch catch up TV on a tablet (still a relatively low 16%) and use an online service to watch TV or films (81%).
The UK saw the greatest decline in traditional live TV viewing among comparator countries, decreasing by 4.9% from 2013 to 2014.
Overall, people in the UK are watching 3 hours 40 minutes of TV per day, just below the average among sampled countries of 3 hours 43 minutes. Americans watch the most TV overall (4 hours 42 minutes), while the Swedish watch the least (2 hours 33 minutes).
The UK had the highest proportion of households with HD Ready televisions; 76% of respondents claimed to own a high definition television set. This was closely followed by Australia and Spain, with respondents claiming 74% take-up of HDTV sets. However, households with an HD set do not necessarily have a HDTV service.
Satellite was the leading platform used by households to access HD services in the UK in 2014, at 5.1 million homes, while the second-largest platform was digital terrestrial (DTT) at 4.3 million homes. The leading platform in Germany was also satellite (7.9 million homes), while in France DTT was the largest platform (10.8 million homes). The second largest platform for accessing HD services in France was IPTV 100 (at 9.3 million homes). This contrasts with the United States and Japan, where the leading platform is cable (35.6 million homes and 24.4 million homes, respectively). Satellite is the second largest platform for accessing HD services in the United States and Japan (25.2 million homes and 14 million homes respectively).
Germany, the UK and France remain the largest European TV markets, driven by growth in pay-TV. Most of the countries surveyed by Ofcom saw an increase in the Average revenue per user (ARPU) as pay-TV companies developed bundles of broadband, telephony and TV services.