Connectivity services drive European cable growth

March 12, 2014 10.27 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, Cable Congress 2014

caroline-van-weedeEurope’s cable industry saw a powerful increase in revenues in 2013, with the EU 27 total figure of €21.9 billion representing year-on-year growth of 5.9%.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of the launch of Cable Congress 2014, Caroline van Weede, MD Cable Europe, said this growth of €1.2 billion was driven by connectivity services.

Significantly, telecoms – internet (28%) and telephony (19%) – accounted for almost half of the total, growing by 9.1% and 6.5% respectively year-on-year.

TV revenues, accounting for 53% of the total, meanwhile increased by 3.9% year-on-year.

The RGU total in 2013 was, at 109.3 million, with the majority of growth coming from telephony and broadband. Van Weede also said that the majority of cable TV subscribers (30.86 million) are now digital, with the figure increasing by 7.6% to 30.86 million in 2013.

Digital TV and VOD, at €8.32 billion, accounted for 70% of TV revenues.

Van Weede spoke about innovation leaders in the industry such as Ziggo (interactive digital cable with no STB), Get’s tier packaging and Telenet’s SmartAid.

She also outlined policy developments as: cable playing major role in achieving Europe’s digital agenda; NGA rollout; single EU telecoms market; open internet; data protection; copyright; and audiovisual – fostering potential of connected TV services.

Key dates later this year are elections for the European Parliament in June and the new European Commission mandate in October 2014.

In a statement accompanying the start of Cable Congress 2014, Cable Europe president Manuel Kohnstamm commented: “The past year has seen significant transformation and change in our industry, and all of us feel good about cable’s ability to grow through those cycles. As our customers increasingly go digital, over-the-top and outside the home, cable is positioned as the future of entertainment”.

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth added: “Cable is a shining star at a time when Europe’s leaders are calling for more investment in digital infrastructure to connect our continent.

“We continue to attract European consumers with a truly unparalleled connectivity platform. While digital TV subscribers now make up the majority of TV subscriptions in Europe, converting the remaining 25.9 million analogue customers is one of cable’s many long-term runways to growth.”