Digital cable homes to overtake analogue
By Robert Briel
March 7, 2012 10.46 Europe/London

CABLE CONGRESS 2012 – BRUSSELS. At 46%, almost half of European cable TV’s installed base is now digital.

“Somewhere in 2012, we will have more digital than analogue subscribers,” said Caroline van Weede, managing director of Cable Europe, during the press conference ahead of the opening of this year’s Cable Congress in Brussels.

Using figures compiled by IHS Screen Digest from cable operators across 27 European countries, the cable trade body said total TV revenue is up 5.4% to €10.9 billion, up from €10.4 billion. From these figures, digital TV revenue is €6.6 billion, up 18%. Total cable revenue is up €19.9 billion.

The numbers released today confirm that the upward trajectory set by Europe’s cable operators in recent years was maintained in 2011, with the industry reporting faster overall growth than in 2010.

The triple play services helped the industry to record revenue of €19.9 billion, a 7% increase on the previous year, largely as a result of double-digit growth in the internet and telephony segments. By comparison, revenues grew by 6% in 2010 and 3% in 2009.

Speaking at Cable Congress 2012, Manuel Kohnstamm, president, Cable Europe, said: “When we say Europe’s cable industry is up in lights, we mean it. These growth figures prove that investments in next generation services are really bearing fruit and that cable operators are more than holding their own against other platforms even in today’s highly competitive, highly dynamic markets.”

Meanwhile, Europe’s ongoing switch away from analogue services helped the total number of digital cable TV homes served by cable operators increase by 13%. Growth in digital TV is regarded as strategic for the industry due to the potential for lucrative add-on revenues in the future as TV viewing becomes more interactive.

“Europe’s cable industry can be proud of its achievements in 2011 and for the way in which it has managed to maintain its leadership position as Europe moves towards a digital, ubiquitous future. Accelerated growth, even in the current economic climate, shows not only that we are managing to harvest our investments in next generation products and services. It also means we are more than ever meeting consumer demand ,” said Caroline van Weede.