Multi-screen services to reach over 100 million W Euro pay-TV subscribers by 2016
Joseph O'Halloran | 07-12-2012

Pay-TV providers in Europe and Asia are faced with low ARPUs, growing competitive threats, and rival multi-screen services, driving many to explore new business strategies in video services, according to international research firm Parks Associates.

In its TV Everywhere: Growth, Solutions, and Strategies - Europe and Asia/Pacific report Parks revealed that multi-screen services in the US, with a 90% reach of pay-TV subscribers, far outstrip those in Western Europe which boasts a reach of two-thirds, Eastern Europe with just over a fifth, and 9% in Asia.

Parks also noted that many pay-TV providers are now leveraging their multi-screen services to offer over-the-top (OTT) services to non-pay-TV subscribers, with the UK’s BSkyB at the vanguard of this drive. It also observed Italian pay-TV providers Telecom Italia, Mediaset, and FastWEB, Romania’s Romtelecom, UAE-based Etisalat, and South Korean cable operator CJ Hellovision as all launching video services to anyone with a broadband connection. Also cited were operators with niche content, such as Telecom Serbia, who have launched new, local-language services to reach segments of consumers outside their home market.

Parks warns that such services will increase in number as new OTT offerings throughout Europe, including Netflix and HBO, threaten operators' premium TV revenues.

"Now that Netflix has entered Europe and large players have acquired OTT services such as LOVEFiLM and Acetrax, the video services market will be increasingly competitive, forcing pay-TV providers to test new services and business models," said Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates. "Operators in Europe and Asia have dramatically increased their multi-screen offerings, and some are expanding into pure-play OTT services, with offerings available outside their network footprint."