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European pay TV sector shrinks 5.8%

The European pay TV sector had 7,898 operators across 37 countries last year, a “significant reduction” of 5.8% compared to 2009, according to The European Audiovisual Observatory.

Part two of the Observatory’s 2013 pan-European yearbook – looking at television, cinema, video and on-demand services – which was published today, found that the number of cable operators declined from 8,079 in 2009 to 7,551 last year. Mobile TV operators dropped from 77 to 53 over the same period.

However, there were gains, with the number of satellite platform operators rising from 73 to 80. Pay-DTT platform operators increased from 25 to 33, while the number of IPTV platform operators on DSL networks rose from 127 to 181.

The study also found that revenues from the public service broadcasters in the European Union fell from €33.4 billion in 2009 to €32.6 billion in 2012.

In 2012, the proportion of public revenues from licence fees and public funding accounted for 76.2% of these revenues, compared with 21.4% for commercial revenues and 2.4% for other revenues.

“The turnover of the 19 main European commercial television groups for continued operations has risen by 1% in 2013. The groups that derive the bulk of their revenues from pay-TV posted growth of 1.5%, whereas the revenues of the groups mainly financed by advertising remained stable (-0.1%),” said the Observatory.

The European Audiovisual Observatory is a public service organisation that is part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. It was set up in 1992 to collect and distribute information about the audiovisual industries in Europe.