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Eastern Europe set for digital TV boom

The number of digital TV homes in Eastern Europe will double between now and 2018 and pay TV revenues will increase by almost a third in the same period, according to new research.

Digital TV Research is forecasting that the number of digital homes in the region will reach 121 million by 2018, with 13 million new digital homes being added this year alone.

Pay TV revenues will climb 31% between 2012-2018, taking the regional total to US$7.5 billion as operators drive higher ARPUs from their digital customers.

Russia will drive much of the growth and will contribute US$2.2 billion of the 2018 pay TV revenue total – it will be responsible for US$1 billion of the region’s US$1.8 billion additional pay TV revenues between 2012 and 2018.

By contrast Hungary, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia will experience almost flat pay TV revenues across the measurement period.

Satellite will overtake cable as the most pay TV platform generating the greatest revenue in 2017 while IPTV revenues will more than double between 2012 and 2018, report author Simon Murray noted.

Digital TV Research principal analyst Murray noted that the slow pace of switching off analogue TV has played to the advantage of the region’s pay TV operators. “Slow implementation of analog terrestrial switchover favored the pay TV operators as it gave them more time to convert homes to their packages before free-to-air DTT became established,” he said.