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Sky, BT and Virgin Media may all be investing heavily in their TV offerings at present, adding new channels, services and features to boost their customer appeal.

But according to Dido Harding, Chief Executive at TalkTalk, it is her own firm's digital television offering that is growing at the fastest pace in the UK market.

talktalk dido harding 2

Speaking to the Telegraph, she said TalkTalk is "counting down the days" until it eclipses BT's pay-TV customer base, despite the many millions its rival is investing in premium content.

Ms Harding noted that TalkTalk TV added 167,000 viewers during Q3 2013 compared to BT TV's 70,000 - meaning it is "catching up fast".

At the end of Q3 2013, TalkTalk - whose YouView-based TV service is targeted at households looking to upgrade from Freeview - had 557,000 UK viewers.

Having only launched TalkTalk TV in 2012, the firm aims to pass through the one million barrier by the end of 2013-14.

Ms Harding suggested the recent BT Sport hype has indirectly benefited TalkTalk, despite the fact the broadcaster does not offer its own branded sports platform.

"Because of all the noise around football, lots of people noticed that you’ve got all these TV platforms, and so for our TV business that was a really good thing," she told the news provider.

Indeed, Ms Harding suggested that Barclays Premier League broadcast rights fail to appeal to a large share of the overall TV audience.

She noted that women account for the majority of TV viewing minutes in Britain, and in many cases, shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor are the "key content" for them.

Ms Harding explained that TalkTalk TV - which offers Freeview access with catch-up services and on-demand content - gives viewers freedom of choice as to when they watch their favourite shows.

And if viewers want access to premium content such as Sky Sports or Sky Movies, they can bolt it on to their package on a pay-monthly basis.

Looking forward, Ms Harding said her firm is looking forward to the festive period, and has plans in place to give viewers "a wonderful Christmas".

"We’re starting to get into our heads what are the blockbuster movies we’re hoping to remind our customers of on Christmas Eve," she added.

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