In Europe, IPTV grows stronger in less 'cabled' TV markets

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

STUTTGART, Germany — According to the newest edition of TV Markets Quarterly Monitoring from InfoCom GmbH, the independent market analyst specialist, during 2Q07, most of the television viewers in Western Europe still prefer receiving television service over terrestrial platform. Viewing programmes using this platform does not cost as much as rival platforms. In Greece, Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Portugal and Finland, terrestrial or free-to-air TV viewers represent between 51% and 91% of the total TV market as of 1H07, according to InfoCom. In most of these countries, both analogue and digital TV are often free of charge or at a low cost, hence, many are still watching through this type of reception.

CaTV and satellite are, instead, the preferred platforms by TV watchers in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. In these countries, free-to-air TV represents less than 10% of the total viewing audience. These countries represent markets, which are traditionally highly “cabled”, where often CaTV subscriptions are already integrated into standard charges for flats, for instance, and CaTV services are a sort of commodity, therefore, people are traditionally used to a pay-TV service. In the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium, the share of CaTV on total TV watchers is exceptionally high – between 82% and 86% whereas satellite television is the most popular TV platform in Austria where 53% of the total TV viewers (around 1.9m) prefer to watch TV through a satellite dish.

The penetration of IPTV services shows very different dynamics. Increasing IPTV service take-up is most evident in Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden where IPTV subscriptions represent between 1% and 7% of the total TV audience. The IPTV subscriber base in these countries, as a group, reached over 3.3m in June 2007, or over 94% of the total IPTV market in Western Europe. In other countries, especially the highly cabled” ones, the uptake of IPTV is more difficult due to the strong competition of CaTV services, already well established, bundled in triple play with voice and Internet access.

Share of TV viewers by type of reception per country (June 2007)

Fig. 1 – Share of TV viewers by type of reception per country (June 2007)

About TV Quarterly Monitoring:

The TV Quarterly Monitoring is currently available on a yearly subscription basis. It provides a large amount of indicators — among which market TV watcher broken down by CaTV, satellite, IPTV and terrestrial; DSL, cable modem and FTTx subscribers; all figures broken down by carrier — for a large number of countries with forecasts until 2012. TV Quarterly Monitoring is only one of several Quarterly Monitoring Services that InfoCom provides. To know more, please contact us.