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Western Europe pay-TV revenues fall while subscribers increase

Digital TV Research predicts total subscribers to hit 106 million by 2023

Pay-TV in Western Europe will see its revenues fall over the next five years, even as subscribers are predicted to increase.

According to a new report by Digital TV Research, subscribers will increase by 2.6 per cent by 2023, with the biggest increase expected in Italy and Spain.

However, the company suggests revenues will fall in all but three of the 18 countries covered in the report. The UK will lose $628 million over this period, although it will remain the most lucrative pay-TV market by 2023. Regardless of having the most pay-TV subs by some distance, Germany’s pay-TV revenues will remain a lot lower than the UK – at $3.61 million by 2023. Italy will overtake Germany in 2023. 

The region’s top three operators will account for 39 per cent of the region’s pay-TV subscribers by 2023. The report suggests by 2023, Liberty Global will have 17.89 million subscribers (including all of Ziggo) compared with Sky’s 14.86 million (satellite TV only). Third-placed Vodafone will have 8.85 million subscribers (excluding the Netherlands’ Ziggo). There are rumours Vodafone may acquire at least some of Liberty Global’s European assets.

Sky will remain the pay-TV revenue leader by some distance, with $8.49 billion from its satellite TV operations in 2023. Liberty Global will contribute a further $3.91 billion and Vodafone $1.21 billion.