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Top Euro pay TV operators face revenue, subs losses

A significant proportion of Europe’s top pay TV platform operators will shed subscribers and also face revenue declines between now and 2020, according to new research.

Competition from streaming and OTT services and the transition of analogue subscribers to lower cost offerings will hit the region’s existing pay TV companies.

Digital TV Research says that almost 40% of these businesses will lose subs in the years to 2020. BSkyB and Liberty Global will be highest hit, according to the new forecasts.

Revenues growth across the top pay platforms will also tail off, Digital TV Research reports. Its analysis covers 103 operators, which account for 91% of all European pay TV revenues, and says total subscription and VOD revenues for these platforms increased from US$33.7 billion in 2010 to US$35.8 billion in 2013. However, the total will only grow to US$36.2 billion by 2020.

“Subscription and VOD revenues will fall for 50 of the 103 operators (49%) between 2013 and 2020, including six of the top 10 operators,” Digital TV Research noted. “These revenues are for subscriptions and VOD only, and therefore do not include other revenues such as broadband, telephony, advertising, equipment sales and rentals.”

BSkyB will remain the biggest pay TV company in Europe with US$6.44 billion in subscription and VOD revenues by 2020. Liberty Global closed the gap on BSkyB considerably with the acquisition of Virgin Media.

“However, these two companies will be among the highest revenue losers, although France’s CanalSat will lose the most [US$355 million] between 2013 and 2020. The largest gainers will be Sky Deutschland, Kabel Deutschland and Sky Italia. Revenues will more than double for Telecom Italia, Bulgaria’s Vivacom, Greece’s OTE and Hungary’s MinDig,” Digital TV Research said.