European cable hits new revenue highs but TV loses out to broadband | Cable | News | Rapid TV News
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Research from IHS Markit | Technology has revealed a strong 2018 European cable market, with rising consumer demand for broadband services increasing revenues 3% annually to a record high of €24 billion, but the trend shows TV’s grip on the market loosening.
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Indeed, as shown in the European broadband cable yearbook, presented at this year’s Cable Congress, the number of digital cable subscribers continued to rise in the EU region, increasing by four million to 45.2 million in 2018, as operators converted significant numbers of subscribers from analogue TV to higher-value digital services.

Sector revenue increased year-on-year, and by a bigger margin than in 2017. Annual revenues for TV and Internet grew by 4% and 3.6%, respectively. The analyst said that underpinning this revenue growth is cable operators’ ability to increase the value of their customer relationships – total blended average revenue per user (ARPU) increased to €30.4 in 2018, up from €29.8 the previous year.

Internet services totalled 35% of revenue in 2018, with, said the analyst, DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 deployments putting this area on track to become the sector’s largest revenue generator in the coming years.

This would likely happen to the detriment of the TV industry. The study showed that at 46% in 2018, TV still accounted for the largest share of cable revenues, but this share has tracked downwards from 50% in 2013 to 46% in 2018. EU subscriptions to cable TV declined by 275,000 in that year.

The study also found that the all-time-high revenue was propelled by continued growth in the total number of cable revenue generating units (RGUs) in the EU, which inched up by one percentage point from the 2017 figures to total 121.7 million. Most of the RGU growth was found to have originated from the broadband sector, where consumers continue to add subscriptions to cable internet services. In terms of subscriptions, RGUs for cable internet service amounted to 38 million in 2018, up from 37.1 million in 2017. This growth helped drive the increase in overall EU RGUs for the year.

“Carrying on the trend from 2017, broadband remained the primary growth engine for the EU cable business in 2018, generating new RGUs and spurring the market’s revenue expansion,” said Maria Rua Aguete, executive director of media, service providers and platforms for IHS Markit |Technology, commenting on the trends found in the yearbook. “European cable operators have successfully diversified their offerings into complete bundles of video, voice and internet services. This has positioned them to capitalise on the voracious consumer appetite for broadband.”