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IPTV subscriptions in Western Europe to climb by 7 mn between 2015- 21, overtaking satellite TV

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MUMBAI: The numbers of homes paying IPTV in Western Europe are expected to climb by nearly 7 million up by 27 per cent between 2015 and 2021, thus overtaking the pay satellite TV which is slated to fall by 300,000 between 2015 and 2021 for 18 countries in the region.  

According to the Digital TV Western Europe Forecasts report, IPTV revenues will reach $5.77 billion in 2021 – up by $1.2 billion.

The report indicates that this is due mainly to some operators, especially in Spain and Italy, converting their DTH subs to more lucrative bundles on their broadband networks.

Satellite TV revenues will fall for every year from 2011 – and will decline by $1 billion between 2015 and 2021.

Western European Pay TV is fast maturing, with penetration forecast to grow from 56.8% at end-2015 to 59.5 per cent in 2021. The number of pay TV subscribers will climb from 97.4 million in 2015 to 104.3 million in 2021.

So, Pay TV subscriptions will only increase by 6.9 million which is 7 per cent between 2015 and 2021. However, the number of digital pay TV subs will increase by 19 per cent nearly 17 million over the same period. Digital cable subs will increase by almost 10 million.

The 9.9 million analogue cable homes remaining at 2015-end will be the hardest to convert to digital as many of these subscribers pay for very basic packages as part of their rent.

Digital TV Research principal analyst Simon Murray said, “The remaining analogue cable TV subs are the most obstinate. These homes have had several years to transfer to digital platforms – including those from their existing operators, but are still holding out. When conversion finally happens, these homes are more likely to convert to free-to-air platforms such as DTT or satellite than their predecessors.”

In fact, only seven (Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom) of the 18 countries covered in the report had fully converted to digital by 2015-end.

By 2021, pay TV penetration will range from nearly 100 per cent in the Netherlands to 36 per cent in Italy. Eight countries will exceed 90 per cent pay TV penetration in 2021. However, pay TV penetration will fall in Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland – countries with a large number of legacy analogue cable subscribers.

Despite the number of pay TV homes increasing, pay TV revenues will remain flat at around $31 billion. The UK ($7,217 million) will remain the most lucrative pay TV market. Regardless of having the most pay TV subs by some distance, Germany’s pay TV revenues will remain a lot lower than the UK – at $4,183 million by 2021. In fact, France and Italy will not be too far behind Germany, despite having far fewer pay TV subscribers.

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