Pay-TV growth slows in Europe after falls in cable, DTH subs | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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The European pay TV market grew by just 0.3% quarter-on-quarter to reach 185 million subscribers by the end of March 2018, according to Dataxis research.

Dataxis Europe Pay TV subscribers Q1 2018Of these subscribers, 35% receive direct cable services, 31% satellite and 28% IPTV. Over-the-top (OTT) and digital terrestrial TV (DTT) both represent only 3% of the total customer base.

“Direct cable is still the most used [pay-TV delivery] technology in Europe and represents almost 65 million subscribers, including 42 million for only digital cable, but decreased slightly in Q1 2018,” Dataxis said.

Liberty Global / Vodafone accounts for 31% of the subscribers, while the indirect cable market, provided by landlords and hospitality venues, amounts to 18 million customers, the research company added.

Europe’s direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV operators shed 400,000 subscribers between the end of Q4 2017 and the end of Q1 2018, marking a total fall of 0.72%.

Although the DTT market remained stable in 2018’s opening quarter, recording a slight loss (0.35%) of subscribers, it is witnessing an overall decline. This, said Dataxis, is despite the 2017 launch of Freenet in Germany, which accounts for 18% of total DTT subscribers and attracted 47,000 more customers in the last quarter.

Europe’s IPTV sector maintained its rise with 1 million more subscribers at the end of March 2018 compared to the end of 2017; a 2% increase. The big IPTV hitters are Orange in France with a 10% and Russia’s Rostelcom with 13% market share.

Although still at a low base, OTT grew its subscription base significantly – recording a 47% rise when compared to the end of December 2016. OTT still represents just 3% of Europe’s total pay-TV market, but of this slice Poland’s Play Now serves a quarter.