European Pay-TV revenues set to triple: report

LONDON: A new report shows that European pay-television revenues will triple in the next five years from Euro 22 billion to Euro 77 billion.

The revenue growth will be partly attributed to household subscriptions across the continent rising from 40 million to 68 million. A significant impact, however, will be a 850 per cent increase in T-commerce levels from a current low of Euro 2.4 billion to more than Euro 30 billion by 2008 representing 40 per cent of revenue per subscriber.

European Pay-TV Forecasts by David Brown and published by International Marketing Reports, also shows that Britain will be the biggest Pay-TV market in Europe with a five-fold increase in revenues from Euro 4.1 billion to Euro 20 billion.

UK Pay-TV penetration will reach 58 per cent of TV households from the current 38 per cent. Only Scandinavian countries Finland (63.6 per cent), Denmark (74.1 per cent) and Sweden (79.8 per cent).

The report also shows that Europe's largest economy, Germany, will make rapid progress in Pay-TV with its current 6.3 per cent of TV households having Pay-TV, set to grow to 36.2 per cent in the next five years.

The report also analyses who will be the winners and losers in the Pay-TV market and the news for smaller, struggling channels is not good. The big winners will be the large, established channels; David Brown however cautioned, "They have both the economies of scale and strong branding to dominate. But even they must be careful. MTV for example, now faces a tough challenge from publisher Emap, which has launched several rival music channels."

The report also suggests that free-to-air TV will continue to lose share to Pay-Television, that the strongest growth will be in services provided by broadband and Video-on-Demand and that other big winners will be sports and film rights holders.

Brown added, "Sport and movies are still the so-called 'Killer Content'. They are quite simply the only content that the majority of subscribers will pay for and therefore they are the life blood of many of the big subscription operations. Even where advertising and T-Commerce boost revenues, it is often on the back of having such sought after content."

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