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Eastern Europe digital subs replace pay TV

Eastern Europe will lose nearly five million pay TV subscribers between 2020 and 2026, but will gain almost six million digital pay TV subscribers in the same period, according to a report from UK analyst firm Digital TV Research.

During the six-year period, pay TV subscriptions will fall to 78.2 million, while digital pay TV subscriptions will rise to 76 million. This means pay TV will be taken by 63% of the region’s TV homes in 2026, down from 66% in 2020. Digital pay TV penetration will climb from 56% to 62% over the same period.

The report, titled Eastern Europe Pay TV Forecasts, predicts that the number of homes in the region with analogue cable TV will plummet to two million by 2026 from 12.6 million in 2020.

The number of homes with digital cable TV, meanwhile, will increase to 24.8 million by 2026, from just under 21 million in 2020.

Elsewhere, free-to-air satellite TV will be used in 10.1 million homes in 2026, up slightly from 9.8 million in 2020, while the number of homes with pay satellite TV will decline to 27.4 million from 29.8 million in the same period.

In addition, free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT) will be used in 35.5 million homes in 2026, up from 31.8 million in 2020, while the number of homes with pay DTT will increase very slightly to 992,000 from 968,000 in the same period.

Homes with internet protocol television (IPTV) will rise to just under 23 million in 2026 from 18.7 million in 2020, while analogue terrestrial television will become obsolete by 2026, having still been in use in 1.5 million homes in 2020.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Most of the remaining analogue cable TV subscribers are paying very little to receive very little. These homes are reluctant or unable to upgrade to more expensive digital pay TV.”


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