High Definition Sport tops the league in European television

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
European Audiovisual Observatory logo

High Definition Sport tops the league in television: latest trends in the television market in Europe show further growth in HD channels

STRASBOURG — At the start of MIPCOM, the European Audiovisual Observatory has announced its latest European television market figures.

  • HD channel growth continues to explode with a total of 941 in October 2012.
  • Sport channels, followed by film channels, and those of the main generalist broadcasters are the most dominant in HD.
  • The United Kingdom, followed by Germany and France is home to the highest number of HD channels.

The development of TV transmission in HD was dramatic in the last three years, with the first months of 2012 showing an important acceleration of the launching of new channels. From 274 at the end of 2009, the number of channels raised to 612 at the end of 2011 and 941 end of September 2012 (+54%).

Sport, film and generalist channels (the main private and public service channels) have consistently been the most important HD channels, followed by documentary, entertainment and television fiction channels (Graph 2). The gap between sport and the other genres has increased dramatically in the last year.

Satellite and digital cable are the most important platforms for the provision of HD channels. IPTV also provides a significant offer. Regarding digital terrestrial television, in October 2012 there were 116 HD channels available on DTT networks throughout Europe (free and pay), with the generalist public service and private channels being the most present on the free DTT networks.

Adult, Cultural/International, Children, Music, Lifestyle/travel, Entertainment, TV Fiction, Documentary, Generalist, Film, Sport

Regarding the origin and licensing of HD channels, the United Kingdom (with 229) emerges as the most important home of HD channels, followed by Germany (108) and France (95) . (Graph 3 shows the main origins of HD channels).

The UK is home to many important families of channels including Discovery and National Geographic that target the rest of Europe, while BskyB also offers a signifcant number of HD channels. France is home to a wide range of Eurosport channels targeting the rest of Europe and Sweden is the origin of the Viasat channels that target the Nordic states.

The HBO family of channels that provide HD channels to a range of countries in central and eastern Europe are based in the Czech Republic. The Sky satellite platform in Italy contributes to the HD market with 30 channels. More than half of the adult HD channels in Europe are based in the Netherlands.

United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Romania

The MAVISE database

The MAVISE database on TV channels and TV companies is provided by the European Audiovisual Observatory since 2008. It continues to expand as it now contains data on 35 countries including the 27 EU markets; plus accession state Croatia; and candidates, Iceland, Turkey, Montenegro, the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and the Republic of Serbia; as well as potential candidates Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

With the database gradually expanding to include more than 35 countries, it now contains information on 9 400 channels.

MAVISE offers a wide range of sophisticated search possibilities of TV channels according to criteria such as genre, geographical coverage, language, specific target audience.