UK pay-TV “better placed than rest of Europe”

According to analyst firm Screen Digest's Head of TV, Guy Bisson, Sky TV's pay television business in the UK is well placed to weather a recession. Bisson believes the company will maintain its customer growth, control churn and maintain ARPU. Other pay-TV operators in Europe will not be so fortunate: Spain is already showing the effects of the recession in its pay TV and cable business and France, Italy and Germany will soon follow suit.

According to Bisson, free-to-air digital terrestrial TV will be least affected by the recession as its growth prospects are closely tied to analogue switch-off schedules not the economy. The highly competitive Eastern European pay TV markets will see consolidation in their crowded markets as the recession bites and the aggressive price strategies employed by many become untenable.

Meanwhile, Ronan de Renesse, Head of Mobile, suggests that as consumers start to reduce their mobile phone bills, premium content such as TV and VoD will be the first to go. With their planned launches of entertainment on hold, operators and handset manufacturers will offer more 'free' bundled subscriptions, using music content as a value-add to attract and retain customers and aggressively pushing mobile broadband as a viable alternative to fixed line Internet.

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