Telcos strike back as European pay-TV to grow steadily to 2017

Joseph O'Halloran | 11-10-2012

The recession-busting pay-TV market will continue its impressive growth throughout Europe over the next five years, according to a new study from Rethink Technology Research.

The Telcos Strike Back report suggests that European pay-TV added 10 million new pay-TV homes in the last 12 months alone and will reach 152 million by 2017.

The report shows a renaissance among telcos which Rethink says are growing faster than any other segment of European pay-TV market and are set to become serious contenders holding their own in broadband and the quad play against cable companies. Drivers for this growth are operators embracing VDSL and vectoring.

Indeed the analyst calculates that the IPTV market grew from 20 million to 25 million pay-TV customers in the past year and is set to double over the next six years to reach 43.3 million customers.

Overall the report suggest that the pay-TV industry will move from a position where cable is just about dominant, ahead of DTH, to a point where DTH satellite delivered pay-TV will overtake cable as Europeís favourite TV technology, as cable players continue to focus on triple play and broadband wins. At the same time IPTV will grow substantially from 6% to account for a quarter of the total pay-TV market, while pay DTT appears to be going backwards.

The largest pay-TV players will be DTH behemoth BSkyB, Liberty Global in cable and Vivendi with DTH and IPTV plays. These will be followed by Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Iliadís Free. Rethink says that the latter will show growth both within IPTV and through the addition of DTH services to run alongside them.