Pay TV and streaming video in the UK: trends and forecasts 2023–2028

08 February 2024 | Research

Martin Scott

Forecast report | PPTX and PDF (5 slides) | Video, Gaming and Entertainment

"Streaming video subscriptions and revenue stumbled in the UK in 2023 but will return to growth in 2024, driven by advertising-tier take-up."


In the UK’s pay-TV market, the four largest telecoms providers (Sky, Virgin Media O2 (VMO2), BT (EE) and TalkTalk) have fared better than their European peers in terms of defending pay-TV subscriptions against third-party streaming providers. However, attention is focused on the streaming market: the decline in RGUs in 2023 is expected to be temporary, with total streaming video RGUs projected to grow from 48.3 million in 2023 to 60.7 million in 2028.

This report provides detailed 5-year forecasts for the adoption of pay-TV and streaming video services in the UK. It includes data on key metrics, describes key market developments and analyses operators’ strategies.


Geographical coverage and key metrics

Geographical coverage


Key metrics

Country modelled:

  • UK

Companies discussed in this report

  • BT (EE)
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media O2 (VMO2)


  • Revenue generating units (RGUs)
  • Retail revenue (spend)
  • Average retail revenue per RGU (ARPU)

Pay TV is split by the following access technologies:

  • cable (CATV)
  • pay digital terrestrial TV (DTT)
  • satellite (DTH)
  • operator streaming video
  • third-party 

Streaming video is split as follows

  • RGU and households
  • Retail revenue
    • Operator direct-to-consumer (D2C)
    • Third-party via operator sales channels
    • Third-party D2C
  • Ad-tier versus full-price tier

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