Advanced Television

Research: DTT landmarks in Europe

October 11, 2010

Recent data from the MAVISE TV database, developed for the DG Communication of the European Commission by the European Audiovisual Observatory, shows the current status of the European television market. MAVISE contains data on the EU markets plus the candidates Croatia and Turkey. Regarding the roll-out of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), the following developments have occurred in 2010.

The analogue terrestrial switch-off has now taken place in 12 European countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, Luxembourg, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden). By the end of 2010 (or January 2011) switch-off will also have taken place in Austria, Iceland, Malta, Slovenia and Croatia.

Growth in DTT channels
The total number of channels on DTT networks is now almost 1500. This includes a very large number of local channels even though local/regional channels are only on the DTT platforms in 13 countries. There are very large numbers of local channels in Italy, Spain and Denmark.

The number of national and international channels available to DTT households (total on all packages) has increased to more than 760 (compared to 500 in April 2009). It should be noted that this includes almost 40 channels that are appearing on the DTT networks in more than one country. Pan-European channels such as Euronews, the Discovery channels, the Eurosport channels, CNN, BBC World etc, are available in a wide range of countries. In addition national channels are appearing in other countries on the DTT networks. For example, several FTA Italian channels are on the pay platform in Malta and the FTA Swedish channel TV4 is on the pay platform in Denmark. Of the 760 channels (in all the packages) 345 are on FTA platforms and 415 are on pay DTT platforms.

Pay DTT services
Pay DTT services are available in 14 EU countries, Germany (limited), the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden, and also in various non-EU European countries such as Iceland, Albania, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Switzerland.

The level of success of Pay-DTT varies widely but the business model has proved more difficult to launch in some smaller countries. Pay DTT has been cancelled or postponed in several countries, including Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland. The DTT roll-out has also been delayed in Romania due to the cancellation of the DTT tenders. On the other hand, several smaller countries have had pay DTT services launched before the free service is launched, for example Albania, Estonia, Malta.

HD channels
HD channels are available on DTT platforms in France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Norway, Hungary, Estonia, and Lithuania. HD services are due to be launched in Sweden and Finland (end 2010 and early 2011).

Public and private
The public channels continue to play an important role on the FTA platforms (more than one third of these are public channels) but logically less so on the pay platforms (less than 10 per cent are public).

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