Number of European HD Channels on the Rise


STRASBOURG: There was a 47.8-percent increase in the number of HD channels in Europe last year, with 375 new networks launched in the E.U. in total, according to figures from the MAVISE TV database.

According to MAVISE, at the end of 2011 there were approximately 612 HD channels available in Europe; this is up from 414 reported at the end of 2010 and the 274 in 2009. Sports services remain the most important in HD, accounting for approximately 20 percent, followed by film and generalist channels, each around 15 percent.

There are an estimated 20 3D channels either broadcasting or testing in Europe. These tend to broadcast a mix of sports, films and special events.

The growth of distribution platforms is stable; the number of IPTV platforms and pay DTT services continue to increase, while satellite packages and cable offers have been declining since 2010. DTT services are becoming advanced in several countries, with more than 60 percent of homes being DTT only in Italy and Spain at the end of 2011. In France and the U.K., this is 62 percent and 74 percent, respectively. At the end of 2011, 31 pay-TV platforms were available in 19 European countries.