The television sector in Western Europe is in transition at the moment, according to a report from Informa, as analogue terrestrial TV is expected to become extinct in the region in 2013 and IPTV will continue to gain subscribers over the next five years.
Cable is still the biggest pay-TV platform in Western Europe, according to the report, but its dominance is believed to be on the wane: in 2000 cable TV accounted for 77 per cent of pay-TV subscribers, but by the end of 2009 this had fallen to 54 per cent, and is forecast to fall further to 43 per cent by the end of 2015.
DTH was initially the big beneficiary of this fall in cable TV’s share, taking 23 per cent of pay-TV subscribers in 2000, rising to 28 per cent in 2009, but is now forecast to slip to 27 per cent by 2015. Pay DTH growth beyond 2009 is predicted to be limited by the rise of IPTV, which accounted for 9 per cent of pay-TV homes in 2009, but is forecast to double this share to 18 per cent by the end of 2015 – potentially challenging DTH for second place beyond 2015.
Most countries in Western Europe are reported to be making good progress in the analogue-to-digital conversion: Digital DTT is predicted to be the primary TV service in 37 per cent of TV households by the end of 2015, while digital cable and DTH will take 21 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. IPTV is expected to be the primary TV service in 11 per cent of the region’s TV households by the end of 2015, while free-to-air digital satellite will take 9 per cent.
Western Europe digital TV household numbers are predicted to record 42 per cent growth between 2009 and 2015, having surpassed the 100 million subscribers milestone in 2008, and is expected to pass 150 million sometime in 2012. Pay-TV revenues are predicted to exceed $30 billion in 2010, but growth thereafter will be limited, according to Informa, as the value of pay-TV is affected by an increasing reliance on multi-play bundles.