According to a new report from Digital TV Research, 2012 is a watershed year for Eastern Europe as the number of digital homes for the 15 forecast countries will exceed the analogue total for the first time.
Report author Simon Murray said: “The recession has had an impact on the TV sector. Compared with our previous report [published in April 2011], we have noted several delays to digital terrestrial rollouts. Even though some governments have either brought forward or confirmed their original analogue terrestrial switch-off plans, many do not believe that all of these deadlines will be met. In addition, we have also seen slower take-up of double-play and triple-play bundles.
He added: “It is good news for pay TV operators that many Eastern European countries have been slow to implement analogue terrestrial switchover. This favours pay-TV operators as it gives them more time to convert homes to their packages before FTA DTT becomes established. Poland and Romania are prime examples of this.
The Digital TV Eastern Europe report forecasts that the number of digital homes will nearly double between 2012 and 2017, bringing the total to 112 million. Ten of the 15 countries will be completely digital by 2017, with Estonia the first to full conversion – in 2012. Russia will add more than 26 million digital homes between 2012 and 2017, with the Ukraine increasing by more than 10 million.
Pay-TV will be taken by 61 per cent of the region’s TV homes in 2017, up from 47 per cent – at end-2011 – or up by 18 million to 71 million. Pay-TV revenues in Eastern Europe will be 35 per cent higher in 2017 (US$7.806 billion) than in 2012 (US$5.780 billion).