Europe’s multichannel audience has grown hugely over the past two years. The latest data from Paris-based Eutelsat says that satellite and cable/IPTV audiences have grown by an impressive 8.8% to 210 million homes (from 193.7m).
However, while IPTV reception has increased, cable has shrunk. “Satellite has been the main driver for this impressive growth,” says Andrew Wallace, Eutelsat’s chief commercial officer. Eutelsat broadcasts 3600 channels and services, and Wallace says of the 129.3m satellite homes, almost 40% now subscribe to digital pay-TV (51.4m homes).
IPTV, for some time the poor relations as far as TV distribution was concerned, had seen growth rocket by 25.5%, albeit from a modest base to 11.3m homes, up from 9m in 2008.
Eastern Europe was highlighted within the report for special mention, with pay-TV on satellite growing by 63.5%, from 10.7m homes to 17.5m this year. “There’s been very strong increase in Russia and Poland,” said Wallace. “The Russian market more than doubled from 2m homes in 2008 to 4.7m, while Eutelsat’s 36 deg East position (which serves Russia and the Ukraine) has seen audiences grow from 3.7m homes to 8.1m.