Almost 300 news channels in Europe

November 13, 2013 09.30 Europe/London By Robert Briel

There are almost 300 news channels currently available in Europe, according to a report by the European Audiovisual Observatory.

The Strasbourg-based Observatory counts 214 channels based in Europe (171 in EU28 plus a further 33 from the candidate countries, Switzerland, Norway and Russia). A further 80 or so channels broadcast from other parts of Europe, from the US, Africa, Asia, or the Middle East.

Of the 214 Europe-based channels, approximately 110 are national news channels, around 60 have a pan-European or global/international remit and 46 are the Europe By Satellite channels (provided by the audiovisual services of the European Union).

The pan-European channels with the widest distribution in Europe are CNN International, BBC World news, Al Jazeera (English), Euronews (English) and RT (Russia Today).

mavise_nov2013_tvnewschannels_t1_enFrom a total of 105 national news channels counted by the Observatory, 84 are privately owned whilst 21 are public. There are some exceptions to this otherwise clear market dominance: Spain has three public news channels; The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Switzerland only have public news channels.

In general the Observatory reports the increased distribution opportunities for television news offered by new platforms such as DTT, and digital cable and satellite networks as well as ADSL (IPTV). The report also looks at industry data regarding developments in online viewer habits and the impact on news. An overview of news APPS for Smartphone and Smart TV is also provided.

Despite the increased capacity on digital platforms, news channels are competing with a boom in other types of channels, in particular HD simulcasts that are competing for space on the distribution networks.

The report does note a major increase since 2009 in the availability of television new channels over free DTT networks. 16 news channels were available on the free to air networks in Europe in 2009. This increased to 43 in October 2013.

The complete 101-page report can be downlaoded for free from the Observatory’s website.