Press release

UK Leads Europe’s TV Market Into Cord-Cutting Era, Says Strategy Analytics

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Declining pay TV subscriptions in the UK suggest that cord-cutting,
which is well established in the US, is now beginning to affect the
European market. The report,
Pay TV Index
, found that the UK saw a net decline in pay TV
households of 424,000 in 2018, the largest decline of any European
country. Other countries with falling subscriptions include Denmark,
Switzerland and Germany, although the rates of decline are less
significant. Pay TV is still growing in some countries such as Russia,
France, Poland and Spain, where the pay TV market is generally less
mature. According to this research from Strategy Analytics’
& Media Strategies
service, the number of pay TV
subscriptions 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% and this trend suggests subscriptions across the continent
will begin to decline within the next year or two.

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Annual Pay TV Subscriptions Increase/Decrease: Selected European Markets (Graphic: Business Wire)

Annual Pay TV Subscriptions Increase/Decrease: Selected European Markets (Graphic: Business Wire)

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 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). Telco TV
    subscriptions rose 5.4% in 2018, compared to a decline for their
    rivals of 1.3%
  • In spite of this, Comcast and Liberty Global remain the leading pay TV
    providers in Europe, with subscriber market shares of 14.9% and 13.8%
  • Europe’s pay TV market remains highly fragmented, with the top five
    players accounting for less than half of all subscribers

Note: This analysis includes only traditional pay TV services delivered
via cable, satellite, telco TV (IPTV) and terrestrial broadcasts. It
excludes online video services such as Netflix and NowTV.

, 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.”

About Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory
services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging
technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive
electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia,
Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success.