A Gartner survey of early technology adopters found only 6% of UK mobile users watch live TV on their phones, compared with 25% in the US and 24% in Italy.
Also of concern for broadcasters hoping to develop revenue through new media, is that only 21% of those surveyed were likely to ever watch TV on their mobile if it contained advertising.
Last month Channel 4 became the first UK terrestrial broadcaster to launch a mobile channel, streaming two hours of looped content each day. At this stage no advertising is featured but its introduction is being considered.
Daren Siddall, principal analyst from research company Gartner, said: "Re-broadcasting live channels to mobile phones is a tough business case to build."
The five million 3G mobile users in the UK are more likely to watch short video clips, with 55% already doing so. Over half of consumers said they would be interested in getting free video or music content in exchange for relevant advertising.
"We need to think about what the consumer will tolerate," said Daren Siddall, principal analyst from research company Gartner. "There are questions about how much demand there is for these services."
Nevertheless, Nokia confirmed at its annual marketing summit in Paris that it was going ahead with plans to rollout DVB-H phones in the UK next year, if allocated spectrum by Ofcom.