Europe will not switch to digital until 2017, says report

Only two countries in western Europe have switched off analogue TV with full digital switchover in the region unlikely until 2017, according to new research.

Digital penetration in Western Europe was 85% at end-2011 and two more countries are scheduled to switch off analogue signals this year, Digital TV Research says. Finland, Spain, Italy and the UK will have switched by year-end. Portugal will switchover next year and France, Ireland and Norway in 2014.

The 25 million analogue homes remaining at end-2011 will be the hardest to convert to digital, Digital TV Research noted.

Report author Simon Murray said: “Analogue cable homes will be harder to convert to digital as many of these subscribers pay for basic packages as part of their rent. Operators have difficulties in accessing these households as they have to persuade landlords and housing committees to upgrade to digital.”

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