European pay-TV revenues flatten in 2014
Joseph O'Halloran | 11 June 2014
Despite totalling $40.35 billion by the end of the year, 2014 will be flat in terms of growth for the European pay-TV market according to a report from Digital TV Research.

In the European Digital TV Datebook year-on-year growth by the end of 2014 is forecast to be just 0.6%, reflecting, said the analyst, falling ARPU at operators buffeted not just by competition but also the transition of subscribers to double-play and triple-play bundles, traditionally bad for TV-based revenues.

In the key Western Europe sector, the survey predicts that pay-TV revenues will increase by 5.9% from $31.9 billion in 2010 to $33.8 billion in 2014, with Eastern Europe up by 32.2% to $6.5 billion. The UK and Germany will lead pay-TV revenues in 2014 raking in $7.8 billion and $4.6 billion respectively. By the end of the year, pay-TV revenues in Germany will likely have increased by $945 million between 2010 and 2014 and by $813 million in Russia, nearly double its 2010 total.

However, it is a different story for France and Spain where revenues, and indeed pay-TV subs, are set to fall over the same period. Overall Digital TV Research calculates that pay-TV subscriptions will increase from 154.5 million in 2010 to 171.6 million by end-2014. The Western European total will rise by only 4 million to 97.3 million, but Eastern Europe will climb by 13.1 million to 74.4 million. Digital TV penetration is set reach 81.9% of European TV households by end-2014, a total of 240.3 million, up by 12.7 million during the year and up by 67.2 million since 2010.

In terms of platforms, satellite TV is likely to contribute 45.6% of pay-TV revenues in 2014. Yet it must be noted that, satellite TV revenues like those of pay-DTT are falling, partly due to greater competition but also due to the growth of cheaper packages. By contrast however, IPTV is on track to register strong revenue growth.