Global TV revenues top US$250 billion

TV revenue growth across the world’s major countries outperformed other communications industries last year, and the UK led across a range of metrics amongst European countries, according to Ofcom’s latest International Communications Market Report.

According to the report, which drew on a variety of sources to compare the communications sector – telecoms, TV, postal communications and radio – across 17 countries, the overall sector turned in revenues of £1,228 billion globally in 2012, growing by 2.5% year-on-year.

Telecoms saw the biggest absolute increase in revenue of £22 billion or 4.1% to £865 billion. However, TV revenues grew the fastest – by 4.1% in 2012 to £252 billion, with the BRIC countries leading the way, but a decline in revenues in Europe and Canada.

Global TV subscription revenues were up 4.4%, while net advertising revenues grew by 4.6% in 2012.

The UK was the leading European country for TV revenues, with £11.7 billion compared with £11 billion in Germany and £9.5 billion in France.

Germany and France were both ahead of the UK in the number of homes signed up to pay TV services with 64% each, according to Ofcom’s definition, compared with 54% for the UK.

The UK, Spain and Italy were the only three major countries where all main TV sets in households received digital signals. Almost half of UK homes received HD TV, higher than the 33% average for the major European countries. UK homes also had the highest propensity to own DVRs, with 41% of households owning a device, and UK consumers were most likely to access TV content over the internet, with 36% of internet users claiming to do so every week.

The UK also led on catch-up viewing on smart TVs, mobile phones and tablets, with 77% of smart TV owners accessing catch-up TV on that device, and a third of tablet owners and 12% of smartphone owners using their devices to watch catch-up content. A third of UK homes with games consoles also used that device to access catch-up content, much higher than the proportion doing so in other European countries.

Smart TV ownership averaged out at 19% across the countries studied. UK smart TV ownership stood at 17%, compared with 21% in Germany and 9% in France.

The UK had higher than average linear TV viewing, with the average home watching four hours of linear TV a day, 19 minutes more than the international average.

Revenues from the sale of UK TV programming to international markets stood at £1.22 billion in 2012, up 4% year-on-year, with the US remaining the largest international market.

The UK led the international field in the number of respondents receiving a bundle of services from their broadband supplier, with 77% of UK respondents doing so. Prices in the UK compared favourably with other countries, with Italy and France also performing well.

The report compares the UK with 16 countries – France, Germany, Italy, the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Brazil, Russia, India and China.