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Dataxis: European pay TV experiences lowest net additions in Q1

The European pay TV market grew by 0.3% quarter-over-quarter in Q1 2018, the “lowest net add ever observed” by research firm Dataxis.

The research firm said that the total pay TV market reached 184.8 million subscribers in Q1 2018, up just slightly from 184.3 million in Q4 2017.

Year-on-year the total pay TV subscriber number was up 3.7% from 178.2 million in Q1 2017.

In terms of pay TV subscriber breakdown, in Q1 2018 some 35% of pay TV subscribers received direct cable, 31% satellite and 28% IPTV. OTT and DTT both represented only 3% of the subscriber total, according to Dataxis.

“Direct cable is still the most used technology in Europe and represents almost 65 million subscribers, including 42 million for only digital cable, but decreased slightly in Q1 2018,” according to the research, which claimed that Liberty Global and Vodafone accounted for 31% of the subscribers.

The DTH satellite market was found to have decreased “more substantially” in Q1 2018, with 400,000 fewer subscribers than in Q4 2017, a decline of 0.72%. Dataxis said it estimates that Sky and Russia’s Tricolor, which together hold 50% of the market, have lost 140,000 and 80,000 customers respectively.

The digital terrestrial TV (DTT) market remained stable in Q1 2018, losing only 0.35% of its subscribers, according to the research.

Meanwhile, the European IPTV grew 2.0% quarter-over-quarter after adding one million subscribers. Orange in France and Rostelecom in Russia were found to account for 10% and 13% respectively of the IPTV subscribers.

Finally over-the-top TV “grew significantly”, despite only representing 3% of the pay TV market. Subscriber numbers in this segment were reportedly up 47% quarter-over-quarter.