Advanced Television

Forecast: E Europe to add 9m pay-TV subs by 2027

April 21, 2022

Eastern European pay-TV will fall from 82 million subscribers in the peak year of 2018 to 74 million in 2027, according to the Eastern Europe Pay TV Forecasts report from analyst firm Digital TV Research. Peak year 2018 included 17 million analogue cable subscribers, which will drop to zero by 2027. The number of digital pay-TV subscribers will increase by 9 million over this period.

The number of pay-TV subscribers will fall in 18 of the region’s 22 countries between 2021 and 2027. The total will drop by 4 million in 2022 alone, mainly as a result of Ukraine losing all of its 2.6 million subscribers.

“Russia will account for half of the region’s pay-TV subscribers in 2027,” advises Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research. “However, Russia will lose 5 million pay-TV subscribers between 2021 and 2027 partly as sanctions worsen the economic situation and due to some analogue cable homes converting to FTA DTT.”

Sanctions on Russia are expected to continue for some time, with Western companies reluctant to re-enter the Russian market.

Russia is not as dependent on Western content as many other European countries. However, sanctions will result in economic hardship that will adversely affect Russian household spend. Pay-TV subscriptions are cheap, so the sector will not be hit that hard.

“We assume that Russia will withdraw from Ukraine before end-2022. After the Russian withdrawal, we expect massive investment in Ukraine by Western companies/governments as well as most refugees returning home,” added Murray.

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