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Western Europe to lose 7m pay TV subs by 2027, says Digital TV Research

The number of pay TV subscribers in Western Europe will decline by seven million to 100 million between 2021 and 2027, according to UK analysis firm Digital TV Research.

Pay TV subscriber counts will fall in 14 of the 18 countries covered by the research, led by Germany where the number of subscriptions is forecast to decrease by two million from 24.8 million in 2021 to 22.8 million in 2027.

In the UK, pay TV subscriber numbers will decline by 1.4 million from 14.4 million in 2021 to 13 million in 2017, while France will see a reduction of almost a million from 22.9 million to 22 million over the same period.

In the Netherlands, the number of pay TV subscribers will slip from 6.6 million in 2021 to 6.2 million in 2027, but Spain will remain flat at 6.4 million.

Other European countries combined will experience a decline in pay TV subs from 31.8 million in 2021 to 29.5 million in 2027.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Pay TV revenues will decline by US$5bn – 18% – between 2021 and 2027 to US$bn. The pay TV subscriber count will drop by 7%, so revenues will fall faster, revealing lower TV ARPUs and less emphasis on TV from the operators. IPTV will overtake satellite TV in 2026 to become the most lucrative platform.”

The forecast for pay TV in Asia Pacific, meanwhile, is very different. The Asia Pacific pay TV sector was described by Digital TV Research as the most vibrant in the world, with subscriber numbers increasing by 26 million over the next five years and penetration remaining at two-thirds of TV households.

China and India together will account for 81% of the region’s 649 million pay TV subscribers by 2027, according to the company. India will add 11 million pay TV subs between 2021 and 2027, and China will add five million. OTT penetration will remain much higher in China than in India.

Nevertheless, cable TV subscribers are converting to OTT and IPTV across Asia Pacific. “IPTV subscribers overtook cable TV ones across the region in 2021. Digital cable subscriptions will fall by 29 million between 2021 and 2027. China will lose 38 million digital cable subscribers,” said Murray.


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