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Telcos ‘will control 56 per cent of Western Europe’s pay-TV subscribers by 2024’

Pay-TV revenues to decline by 13.1 per cent over five years

Telcos are set to dominate the next five years of Western European pay-TV, Digital TV Research has found.

The study suggested that IPTV is overtaking other pay-TV platforms, surpassing satellite TV in 2015 and approaching cable in 2024, by which time IPTV will have added 5.5 million subscribers.

By 2024 Western Europe will have 101.59 million pay-TV subscribers, with Germany contributing a quarter of the total, followed by the UK (15 per cent) and France (14 per cent). Half of the 18 countries covered in the report will lose pay-TV subscribers between 2018 and 2024, including Italy (down by 728,000 subs) and the UK (down by 621,000).

Satellite TV is projected to lose 4 million subscribers between 2018 and 2024. Pay-TV revenues are expected to decline by 13.1 per cent over this timeframe, a dip of $3.84 billion. The UK will lose $1 billion over this period, but will remain the most lucrative pay-TV market.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “IPTV operations are owned by telcos. Some telcos also have assets on other platforms. If all of the current proposed deals receive regulatory approval, then telcos will have 18.61 million non-IPTV subscribers by 2024. Adding the 38.72 million IPTV subscribers, telcos will control 56 per cent of Western Europe’s pay-TV subscribers by 2024. This marks a sea change for Western Europe’s pay TV sector. Pay-TV is not the priority for telcos – broadband and mobile provision are at the forefront.”