Western European Digital TV Breaks Through 100 Million Mark in 2008

Thursday, March 12th, 2009
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Growth Fueled By Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)

BOSTON — In what was a record year for digital television subscriber growth, Western European digital television subscriptions broke through the 100 million household mark in 2008, according to a new report by analyst firm Strategy Analytics. The report, “Western Europe Digital Television Forecast, 1H’09,” estimates that Western Europe added 17 million net new digital households in 2008.

On a platform level, Digital Satellite led in terms of overall subscriptions; however, Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) will fuel the growth of digital television over the next four years. Fifty-seven million homes will use DTT as their primary viewing platform in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics.

“As European countries undergo their respective Digital Switchovers (DSO), and analogue signals are shut off, DTT will emerge as the dominant primary digital viewing platform,” noted John Lee, Analyst in the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service. “DTT service is becoming competitive with lower-tier pay television offerings–both in terms of channel selection and quality.”

Strategy Analytics forecasts that Western European digital households will surpass the 150 million mark in 2012, implying a four-year CAGR of nearly 10%.

Western Europe: Digital Television Households by Primary Access Platform (millions)

                                   2008   2012
                                  -----  -----
Digital Satellite                  40.0   48.2
Digital Cable                      17.1   28.7
Digital Terrestrial                36.1   57.6
Telco IPTV                         10.0   16.9
                                  -----  -----
Total Digital TV Subscriptions    103.2  151.4

Source: Strategy Analytics, "Western Europe Digital Television Forecast: 1H'09"

Digital cable and IPTV are likewise expected to make strides in the digital television market, each forecasted to have double-digit growth in the upcoming years. IPTV has already made impressive headway in France, where consumers are rapidly adopting this technology. Of the four digital platforms covered, Strategy Analytics estimates that digital satellite will grow the slowest.

This Strategy Analytics report provides in-depth digital television market coverage for 16 countries in Western Europe, and includes digital household forecasts, as well as platform split forecasts (digital cable, satellite, IPTV and DTT).