IPTV set to overtake DTH in Western Europe

May 6, 2014 16.09 Europe/London By Robert Briel

vintage_tv-setPaying IPTV subscribers will overtake pay satellite TV ones in 2018, according to a new report from Digital TV Research.

The Digital TV Western Europe report forecasts that IPTV subscriptions will climb by 7.5 million (38%) between 2013 and 2020 compared with 1.2 million additions for both pay satellite TV (up by 5%) and pay DTT (up 22%). Digital cable will increase by nearly 13 million (up 42%).

Despite a return to more positive market conditions, pay TV subscriptions will only increase by 8.7 million (6.6%) between 2013 and 2020 to 103.65 million. However, the number of digital pay TV subscribers will increase by 28.1% (nearly 23 million), with analog cable subs falling from 14.03 million to zero by 2019.

Western Europe will reach 159 million digital TV households by end-2014, up by 4 million during the year and by 33 million since 2010. This total will grow to 174 million by 2020. Free-to-air DTT will remain the most popular platform – with 44 million primary homes by 2020. FTA satellite TV will supply a further 27 million.

Despite the number of pay TV homes increasing, pay TV revenues will remain flat at around $33 billion. Satellite TV will remain the most lucrative pay TV platform, but its revenues will fall every year from 2011 – despite subs numbers rising. Cable TV revenues peaked in 2012, but will lose $1.3 billion (10.2%) between 2013 and 2020 – although subscriber numbers will also fall (by 2.6%). Digital cable TV revenues will peak in 2017. IPTV revenues will climb by 26.3% between 2013 and 2020 to $4.91 billion (with subscriber numbers up by 38.4%).

The UK ($7,535 million) will still be the most lucrative pay TV market by 2020. Despite having the most pay TV subscribers by some distance, Germany’s pay TV revenues will be a lot lower than the UK – at $4,741 million. In fact, Italy ($4,539 million) will not be too far behind Germany despite having fewer than half its pay TV subscribers.