A new Digital TV Research report sees tough times for the pay-TV universe in Eastern Europe, with the sector expected to lose 1 million subscribers between 2016 and 2022.
The report cites poor employment prospects, leading people to migrate elsewhere, and low birth rates. “There will be a knock-on effect for the TV sector,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research. “The number of TV households will fall in 18 countries between 2016 and 2022—with the region’s total declining by almost 2 million. Pay TV will struggle, losing 1 million subscribers over the same period.”
Murray noted that significant reductions in analog pay-TV subs, from 22.6 million in 2016 to 3.1 million in 2022. Digital TV subs will grow from 58.4 million to 76.9 million. “Eastern Europe is slowly ridding itself of the legacy of analog cable TV,” he said. “Belated DTT launches in some countries have resulted in some analog cable TV laggards converting to FTA DTT rather than the (more expensive) digital pay-TV platforms.”
Russia will account for nearly half of the region’s pay-TV subscribers in 2022.
Revenues from pay TV will peak at $6.1 billion this year. Revenues will fall in half of the 22 countries covered in the report between 2016 and 2022. Revenues for market leader Poland will be lower in 2022 than they were in 2010.