DTT channel universe continues to grow

There are now almost 1,800 digital-terrestrial TV channels on air across the EU (plus candidate countries Croatia and Turkey), up from 1,500 in October, according to the latest survey by the European Audiovisual Observatory.

The survey found that 54% of channels across the EU were of a local or regional variety, with 37% being national channels and 9% being channels with a presence across national boundaries.

Of the 495 HD channels available in the EU in June, 65 were available on DTT (28 of them free-to-air).

The number of national and international channels available to DTT households has increased from 500 in April 2009 to about 820 today. Commercial broadcasters account for 60% of DTT channels. Italy leads the way in terms of overall channel numbers (with about 90 DTT channels), followed by the UK, Malta, Lithuania, Latvia and Sweden. Generalist channels accounted for 38% of free-to-air channels, followed by entertainment/fiction with 11% and business/news with 9%.

Pay DTT services are now available across 14 EU countries, and pay TV accounts for 53% of all national channels on DTT platforms. Entertainment/fiction accounted for 18% of pay channels, followed by sport (15%) and documentary (14%).

Within the EU, only Bulgaria and Romania have yet to launch DTT services, following Ireland’s launch of Saorview last week. Some 15 European countries have completed digital switchover, with a further five – Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Malta and Iceland – set to join them by the end of the year. 

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