Strategy Analytics’ TV & Media Strategies service says Britain lost 428,000 subscriptions in the last 12 months, more than any other European territory.
Denmark, Switzerland and Germany also lost homes, though the decline was less pronounced.
Michael Goodman, Director, TV & Media Strategies, said: “We have seen the cord-cutting trend for several years in the US, where the pay-TV business is more mature. Now it is starting to hit major markets in Europe, and this spells trouble for pay-TV operators which cannot adapt to the needs of today’s viewers. The threat of falling subscriber revenues and stronger OTT rivals will also increase pressure from investors for further consolidation across the industry.”
Strategy Analytics says the number of pay-TV subs across Europe as whole rose slightly in 2018, reaching 128.5 million. But the growth rate of 1.3% declined from the previous year’s 2.2% It forecasts subscriptions across the continent will begin to decline within the next year or two.
Telco operators like Orange and Deutsche Telekom are faring better than traditional cable and satellite players like Comcast (which owns Sky) and Liberty Global, which includes Virgin Media in the UK and Ireland. Telco TV subscriptions rose 5.4% in 2018, compared to a decline for their rivals of 1.3%
Comcast and Liberty Global remain the leading pay-TV providers in Europe, with subscriber market shares of 14.9% and 13.8% respectively.