Eastern Europe digital TV homes to double by 2018
Editor | 15-05-2013

As digitalisation carries on apace across the region, the number of digital homes in Eastern Europe will nearly double between 2012 and 2018 says a new study from Digital TV Research.

The Digital TV Eastern Europe report calculates that digital TV penetration crossed the halfway mark of TV households in 2012, up from only 20% at end-2008. It also estimates that 13 million digital TV homes will be added in 2013 alone bringing the total to 121 million.

The analyst also expects fast take-up and increasing analogue terrestrial switch-off to push digital TV penetration to 61.4% by end-2013 and onto 97.3% by 2018. Ten of the 21 countries covered in this report will be completely digital by 2018, with Estonia the first to complete full conversion in 2012.

Looking at where the digital growth areas will be, Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Much of the emphasis has fallen on the remaining 21.7 million analogue cable subscribers. Many of these homes will upgrade to digital cable, but some will shift to IPTV and DTH. However, many of the remaining analogue cable subscribers are refuseniks, who don’t want to pay more for TV services. Free-to-air DTT (or even pay DTT) is an attractive option for these homes.

“Slow implementation of analogue terrestrial switchover favoured the pay-TV operators as it gave them more time to convert homes to their packages before FTA DTT became established. Poland and Romania are prime examples of this. However, we expect the impact of DTT in these two countries to result in (small) declines in their pay-TV subscriber counts.”

Looking at how to make best use of this trends, the survey predicts that pay-TV revenues in Eastern Europe will be 31% higher in 2018 ($7.544 billion) than in 2012 ($5.759 billion). The analyst believes that number of pay-TV subs will climb by 21% over the same period; demonstrating higher ARPU from digital subs than analogue ones. In addition it is expected that DTH will overtake cable as the most lucrative platform in 2017. IPTV revenues will likely more than double between 2012 and 2018.