Mixed prospects for CEE pay TV

TricolorAlmost a third the big pay TV operators in central and eastern Europe will shed subscribers in the next five years with a wider economic slowdown in the region hampering their prospects.

The forecast comes from Digital TV Research, which noted low subs fees and consumers switching from pay TV to DTT will impact many pay TV platforms.

“So 20 of the top operators will lose subscribers – or 31% of the total,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research. “Perhaps this is not that unpredictable given that the region still had 24.5 million analogue cable TV subscribers by end-2015.”

Digital TV Research tracks the top 64 operators in the region and found this group account for 84% of the region’s 83.7 million pay TV subs. Russia’s Tricolor leads the way in terms of subscribers and is projected to add the most over the next five years.

Russian platforms feature prominently among those with the most subscribers in the region, but are not the ones generating the most cash given the low fees they charge.

By revenue, Poland’s Cyfrowy Polsat is, and will remain, the regional leader.

Of the group of 64 leading operators, 44 are projected to add subs through to 2021.

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