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4 companies control half of W. Europe pay-TV subs

The 73 top operators collectively accounted for 93 per cent of Western Europe’s pay-TV subscribers by end-2015, according to analyst firm Digital TV Research. Despite adding 7 million subscribers to take their total to 97.26 million, this proportion will fall slightly – to 92 per cent – of the region’s 105 million pay TV subscribers by 2021. Liberty Global, Sky Europe, Vodafone and Altice will jointly continue to account for half the region’s pay-TV subs.

Covering 104 platforms across 17 countries in the Western Europe Pay TV Operator Forecasts report, 29 of the 30 IPTV platforms will gain subscribers between 2015 and 2021. However, 14 of the 21 satellite platforms and seven of the eight DTT operators will lose subscribers during the same period. Perhaps surprising considering the fall-off from the analogue transition is that half of the cable platforms will gain subs.

With operations in eight Western European countries, Liberty Global is the region’s largest operator by pay-TV subs. Counting only its satellite TV subs, Sky Europe (with operations in five countries) is rapidly closing the gap. Liberty Global will lose 1.15 million subs (mostly analogue ones) between 2015 and 2021 whereas Telefónica will gain 1.23 million and Altice nearly 1 million.

The 73 top operators generated 93 per cent of Western Europe’s $30.61 billion (€27.28bn) pay-TV subscription and PPV revenues in 2015. This proportion will hold steady until 2021, although overall revenues will not grow. Liberty Global and Sky Europe will together continue to take just under half of the region’s revenues.

Top five multinational pay TV operators by subscribers (000)
Operator 2015 Operator 2021  
Liberty Global 18,542 Liberty Global 17,396
Sky Europe (satellite only) 16,938 Sky Europe (satellite only) 17,292
Vodafone 8,691 Vodafone 9,021
Altice 4,629 Altice 5,546
Telefonica 3,541 Telefonica 4,769
Source: Digital TV Research

 

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