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Dutch TV market continues decline

The Dutch TV market remains in steady decline, reporting a loss for the fourth consecutive quarter (ending March 2016) with a little than 7.8 million connections, according to Telecompaper’s quarterly report on the Dutch Television Market.

During the quarter the market decreased by 8,000 connections or 0.1 per cent, although digital TV grew by 0.4 per cent. This was not enough to offset the quarterly drop of 4.7 percent for analogue TV connections. At the end of the first quarter, nearly 90 per cent of the TV connections were digital.

KPN continued to grow its share of the Dutch TV market, at the expense of cable operator Ziggo. KPN added 0.3 percentage points of market share in Q1 2016 to take 29.2 per cent of subscribers, while Ziggo lost 0.5 percentage points for a share of 51.7 per cent. KPN’s saw growth, mainly driven by IPTV, of 2.8 per cent to 1.93 million. KPN’s total customer base (including Digitenne and analogue TV via fibre from former Lijbrandt customers) rose by 1.3 per cent during the quarter to 2.28 million. On the digital TV market, KPN increased 0.4 percentage points of market share in the quarter to reach 32.2 per cent of subscribers.

Ziggo has been unable to halt the ongoing decline in cable’s share, according to the report.The new Ziggo Sport channel, launched exclusively for Ziggo TV subscribers, may be helpful for customer retention but is unlikely to be enough to return the company to growth. Despite losing customers in Q1, Ziggo is still by far the market leader, with more than 4 million TV subscribers at the end of March 2016. Its digital TV subscriber base fell to 3.3 million, or 47.1 percent of the digital TV market.

KPN and Ziggo will have fewer customers to compete for in future, as Telecompaper expects the number of TV subscriptions to continue to fall. In the five years to 2020, the total TV market is expected to show an average annual decrease of 0.6 per cent. Almost all households already have a TV connection and fewer are taking subscriptions for second TVs, instead watching video on tablets, computers and other devices. At the same time so-called ‘cord-cutters’ and ‘cord-nevers’ are abandoning traditional TV subscriptions altogether in favour of the growing number of online video services on the market.

Telecompaper estimates that the TV services market generated €456 million in revenues in the first quarter of 2016, growing by 1 per cent during the quarter. In the five years to 2020, TV revenues are expected to show an average annual decrease of 0.1 per cent to around €1.8 billion.

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