European cable industry sees rapid growth in digital TV, telephony and broadband internet

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 
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+40% Digital cable TV Customers in 2007; One in three families in Europe watches TV via cable

MADRID — The European cable industry last year recorded rapid growth in the number of households using digital television, high-speed broadband and telephony services as demand for new media and multi-channel television reached new levels, according to industry figures released today.

The figures show the cable industry has continued to expand in spite of mounting competition from rival operators, including the launch of IPTV services by incumbent telecom groups, with services reaching almost 73m households.

Details of 2007 industry revenues and customer volumes were announced at the annual Cable Congress, where industry leaders gathered to debate new growth markets, consolidation opportunities and applications of new technologies. The FY 07 figures showed:

  • Total Cable Revenue in Europe rose 12.6% to €17.9bn (FY06: €15.9bn)
  • The number of Digital cable TV customers has more than doubled in the past two years to 13.9m (+40% in 2007 compared to 9.9m in 2006)
  • Broadband Internet customers increased by more than 20% to 15.6m (FY06: 12.8m)
  • Telephony demand rises 19% to 11.6m customers (FY06: 9.7m)
  • Growth in total unique cable customers rises to 72.7m from 70.5m

Manuel Cubero, president of Cable Europe and chief commercial officer of Kabel Deutschland, said: “The European cable industry provides continuous strong growth for broadband Internet, telephony and especially digital TV. I’m happy to see that cable in Europe is successfully leveraging its experience in offering TV services to take the lead in providing interactive high quality digital TV.”

At the opening session of Cable Congress Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, endorsed the role played by the cable industry in European communications. In her video message, Ms Reding said: “Traditional fixed telecommunications operators as well as cable television companies can offer equivalent services, with the potential to encourage competition. They can also provide bundled offers of multiple services to the end-user. Today, the upgrading of cable is key to inducing competition.”

Meanwhile, new figures released by Cable Europe showed that the industry has maintained a strong leadership in Europe, successfully resisting strong efforts from incumbent telecom operators offering IPTV services to gain market share. Of the 196 million TV households in Europe, 65 million watch TV via cable. And Cable continues to attract millions of new customers for its fast Internet and telephony services.

More: Cable Europe Press Briefing