Growth Projected for Majority of Eastern Europe’s Top Pay-TV Operators


LONDON: The Eastern Europe Pay TV Operator Forecasts report from Digital TV Research estimates that 44 of Eastern Europe’s top 64 operators will increase their subscriber bases between 2015 and 2021.

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

Most of these homes will convert to digital pay-TV platforms though some will move to free-to-air DTT, notes the report, especially in countries such as Russia, Romania and Poland that have been slow to convert to digital terrestrial. The 64 top operators collectively generated 78 percent of Eastern Europe’s pay-TV subscribers by end-2015. Market consolidation will see this proportion grow to 84 percent of the region’s 83.7 million pay-TV subscribers by 2021.

Russia’s Tricolor is the regional leader by subscribers; it will gain the most subs (1.87 million) by 2021. Liberty Global/UPC has operations in five Eastern European countries, with its collective subscriber count climbing from 4.21 million at end-2015 to 4.98 million by 2021. Even though Russia’s main operators have more subscribers, they do not feature as highly in the top 10 ranking by subscription and PPV revenues, due to the low fees that they charge. Poland’s Cyfrowy Polsat will remain the revenue market leader, although Russia’s Rostelecom will gain the most (up by $132 million).