Despite the rosy picture, full digital conversion is only expected in four (Finland, France, Ireland and the UK) of Western Europe’s 15 major broadcast countries. Adam Thomas, Informa’s Media Research Manager, said: "While cable will remain the region’s leading pay TV platform, the satellite subscriber base is eating into its dominance. Satellite’s much higher ARPU levels mean it will overhaul cable in revenue terms during 2009."
Cable is also expected to lose its position as the leading platform, when digital terrestrial TV (DTT) overtakes it in 2011. According to Thomas: "DTT often provides a similar channel line-up to analogue cable, usually for no monthly fee, so will benefit from churning cable customers. IPTV is also using attractive triple-play bundles to tempt away cable subscribers."
The UK is currently the most prominent digital market, accounting for 25 per cent of the regionâ€™s digital TV homes, followed by France with a 20 per cent share and Germany with 17 per cent.