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MTV named the biggest TV channel in Europe

Viacom’s MTV is the most widely distributed channel in Europe, according to new research.

The youth-skewed channel is carried by 123 operators across the continent and beats Disney Channel and the Discovery Channel, which are second and third with 122 and 121 operators respectively.

National Geographic and Eurosport were the fourth and fifth most distributed offerings.

Digital TV Research surveyed 238 channels across 34 countries in EMEA. A core group of 13 channel operators accounted for 96% of all channels in the region.

In terms of HD channels, Nat Geo has the widest distribution ahead of Eurosport and Disney.

However, gaining the most widespread distribution is not the goal of all channel operators, according to report author Simon Murray. “Not all channels want widespread carriage,” Murray said.

He added: “Some channels can gain sway with operators by offering exclusive carriage. In several cases, this report reveals how a channel can be on the basic tier in one country and on a higher tier in another country. Other channels insist on receiving carriage/affiliate fees, which can put off some operators.”

The number of local channels also has an impact on how many international offerings a platform can carry.

Murray says:  “Therefore, most operators only carry 50-60 of these channels. The exception to this rule is Sky in the UK and Ireland, which carries more than 90 channels.”