UK pay TV growth stutters

Growth to slow severely and peak in 2016
Kerry Butters

August 24, 2011

UK pay TV companies must find other ways to ensure growth as current revenues have now reached maturity, according to a new report from Digital TV Research.

As competition intensifies from free multichannel operators, growth currently enjoyed will slow until it reaches a peak in 2016.

At the moment forecasts anticipate that revenues will reach $9.3 billion by the end of this year but these figures are only expected to climb by $250 million to reach $9.6 billion by 2016.

This is compared to growth of $3.3 billion that the industry has enjoyed since 2006.

Report author Simon Murray commented: “Digital TV penetration has almost reached saturation point as it exceeds 95%. Free-to-air services are responsible for much of the recent digital TV growth. Digital pay TV penetration is not expected to climb much and will remain below 58% of TV households.”

The number of homes taking digital pay TV has now reached a plateau and is expected to remain at around 10 million UK homes that currently use the service.

In fact, this number is expected to decline in coming years as more and more consumers are tempted away by other platforms and free-to-view services.

Sky has taken paid TV beyond 36% but it is thought that its growth will also be muted in the next five years with only 1 million additional subscriptions being taken up in that time.

Cable revenues peaked last year but the forecast for take up this year shows an 8.7% drop as customers spend less on TV services but more overall with Virgin due to their bundled products.


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