Boom time for Euro-cable

Amidst all the doom and gloom of economic recession cable TV, helped by the growing importance of broadband, still remains a bright spot, according to a note from Cable Europe (and helping publicise the upcoming Cable Congress show – March 18-20 in Berlin). Using data from Screen Digest, they say an extra 10m new cable subs were added last year in Europe.

Revenues in the European cable industry jumped more than seven per cent last year to €18.2 bn. Demand for digital television, internet broadband and telephony services grew sharply from 41m subscriptions in 2007 to 51m in 2008. Including the 43m customers who watch analogue cable TV, the total number of subscriptions grew to 94m.

The figures show that total cable industry revenues in Europe rose to €18.2 billion in 2008, compared with €16.96 billion in the previous year and more than double the €8.2 billion total recorded at the start of the decade. Cable now accounts for 58% of all pay-TV homes in Europe.

Manuel Kohnstamm, president of Cable Europe, said: “Cable in Europe continues to grow at a healthy pace despite the economic slowdown. Technological innovation and improved customer experience are the main drivers of this ongoing trend.”

Of Europe’s largest markets, particularly strong growth was reported in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, matched by consistently healthy demand in central and eastern Europe.

“This progress comes as industry leaders including Tony Ball, Chairman of the Advisory Board at Kabel Deutschland; Rich Ross, President of Disney Channels Worldwide; Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global; Mike Volpi, CEO of Joost and Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media prepare to debate new content deals, technology opportunities and pay-TV demand at the Cable Congress in Berlin in March. At the Congress, which will bring together over 700 delegates, the Executives are expected to renew a commitment to digital services, reflecting the continued transition from analogue to digital distribution,” says the Cable Congress relerase.