Cable operators in the Netherlands continue losing subscribers to other platforms, but losses could be greater when they stop distributing analogue signals.
Ziggo and UPC, the country’s two largest cable operators, saw their respective market shares of homes passed decline from around 80% five years ago to less than 70% (Ziggo) and around 60% (UPC) at the end of March, 2013.
According to research by digitalekabeltelevisie.nl, their losses could be even greater when they would switch off analogue television.
Cable operator Rekam, active in the middle of the country, saw its penetration rate drop to 54% of all homes passed. Rekam completely switched off all analogue signals on October 10, 2010, and has since seen its losses accelerate to an-all time low of 54%.
At the moment, Ziggo is reducing the number of analogue channels carried over the network, but has not set a switch-off date. UPC has said it is not ready to make a decision on an analogue switch-off date. Until now, the operator has kept its basic analogue tier stable at around 30 – 32 channels, depending on the network.