European cable sets its sights

By Chris Dziadul
Published: November 30, 2010 20.19 Europe/London

DIGITAL TV SUMMIT 2010, LONDON. Europe’s cable industry still has 35 million analogue subscribers to try to convert to digital, according to Manuel Kohnstamm, president, Cable Europe and MD public policy and communications, Liberty Global.
Although some will inevitably opt for satellite, DTT or IPTV services, the majority will almost certainly chose to remain with cable.
Despite the rapid take-up of digital cable in Europe – there were anything between 21.5 million and 25.4 million subscribers as of 2009 – the majority of viewers (58%, based on the latter figure) were still with analogue last year.
However, revenues from digital and analogue cable finally intersected in 2009 and this year should see the former, according to Kohnstamm, exceed the latter by $1.5-2 billion (€1.1-1.5 billion).
Kohnstamm added that cable had already achieved the EC targets of 100% of all TV homes having access to internet services of 30 Mbps and above and 50% of all TV homes to internet services of 100 Mbps or more by 2020.
He also said that although broadband internet access of over 100 Mbps currently accounted for only 5% of all internet sales in UPC markets, that figure should rise to 70% in most countries by 2010.