MIPCOM 2012: sport gives kick to exploding European HD TV market

Joseph O'Halloran | 09-10-2012

Despite economic travails, the HD TV market is booming according to the latest MAVISE survey on European TV channels and TV companies from the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO).

The data shows that the development of HD TV has been dramatic for a three-year period now with the first months of 2012 showing an important acceleration of the launching of new channels. From 274 at the end of 2009, the number of channels raised to 612 at the end of 2011 and 941 end of September 2012. This represents an annual growth of 54%.

The top line figures also show sports channels establishing a huge, and widening lead over all other genres, followed by film channels, and those of the main generalist broadcasters are the most dominant in HD.

The United Kingdom, followed by Germany and France is home to the highest number of HD channels driven mainly by BSkyB, Discovery and National Geographic. The UK is now home to 229 HD channels, Germany 108 and France, led by Eurosport, on 95 with Italy and Spain way behind on 60 and 45 respectively.

Not surprisingly given the nature of the content, satellite and digital cable continue to be the most important platforms for the provision of HD channels, even though IPTVís contribution is becoming more significant as is DTT. By October 2012 there were 116 HD channels available on DTT networks throughout Europe (free and pay), with the generalist public service and private channels being the most present on the free DTT networks.