A quarter of the installed cable base in Europe still remains analogue over 10 years after the Netherlands became the first country to switch off analogue terrestrial TV. However, the European cable industry continues to grow steadily, with total revenues up 2.4% year on year, reaching €23.43 billion in 2017, according to IHS statistics.
The European cable industry has shown consistent growth over the past decade (2007-2017), despite a revolution in the way that TV, internet and telephone services are consumed. Television continues to be the largest source of revenue for the industry, but broadband is driving the biggest growth increase by far (+5% in 2017). Year on year, the number of broadband subscribers rose by 4.6% (or 1.6 million subscribers). This strong growth over a number of years is enabling the industry to reduce its reliance on TV, with the success of DOCSIS 3.0 helping fuel the rise in internet subscriptions and boost overall revenues once again.
Pay TV revenue increased by 2.1% (or €220 million) in 2017, boosted by an 8% growth in digital TV revenue and an 18.5% growth in VOD revenue, as the analogue switchover continued to gather pace during the year, but digital represents 80% of total cable revenue (or 83.8% including VOD).
Cable continues to be the leading primary mode of TV reception for European households. 2.4 million Revenue Generating Units (RGUs), the industry metric for the total sum of TV, internet and telephony subscriptions, were added in 2017, increasing the total number to 121.4 million.
Cable Europe President Manuel Kohnstamm commented: “The European cable industry continues to grow steadily at 2.4% in very competitive markets. Adapting to constant change and disruption, cable keeps delivering high-end broadband and digital tv services for its customers, thanks to years of investment in innovation and infrastructure.”
Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman of Cable Europe, added: “European cable operators have responded to the opportunity presented by broadband growth by delivering high-speed connectivity, online entertainment, original on demand content and next-generation TV platforms. New Digital TV services and the fastest broadband speeds have helped cable to stay ahead and provide a strong platform for the future.”