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Flat growth forecast for European pay TV

Pay TV revenues will increase just 0.6% this year as subscribers move to bundled services, according to new forecasts from Digital TV Research.

As customers sign up for double and triple play services, operators generate higher overall revenues per user, but the proportion commanded by TV decreases.

Digital TV Research forecasts that region-wide revenues will be US$40.35 billion this year, a fractional year-on-year increase. Western Europe will generate the bulk of the total, accounting for US$33.8 billion of the 2014 forecast.

By territory, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands will be the largest markets respectively, in revenue terms.

Satellite TV will contribute 45.6% of the pay TV revenues in 2014. However, satellite TV revenues are falling, partly due to greater competition but also due to the growth of cheaper packages, such as Tricolor in Russia, which force down prices for the whole country. Pay DTT revenues are also suffering. However, IPTV will record strong revenue growth. Digital cable revenue growth will compensate for the decline in analog cable revenues.

Pay TV subscriptions will increase from 154.5 million in 2010 to 171.6 million by end-2014, but the Western European total will rise by only 4.0 million to 97.3 million. Eastern Europe subscriber totals will climb by 13.1 million to 74.4 million.