U.K. Leads European TV Market in Cord Cutters


In the European TV market, the U.K. is seeing the largest decline in pay-TV subscriptions, according to Strategy Analytics, following the cord-cutting trend present in the U.S.

In 2018, the U.K. saw a net decline in pay-TV households of 424,000, per the European Pay TV Index report. This marks the largest decline of any European country, though subscriptions in Denmark, Switzerland and Germany are gradually falling as well. In Russia, France, Poland and Spain, the pay-TV market continues to grow.

Across the board, the number of pay-TV subscriptions in Europe is increasing, with a growth rate of 1.3 percent in 2018 to reach 128.5 million, according to the research from Strategy Analytics’ TV & Media Strategies service. Yet this marks a downward trend, as the growth rate slid almost a full percentage point from 2017’s 2.2 percent.

The analysis in the European Pay TV Index report includes only traditional pay-TV services delivered via cable, satellite, telco TV (IPTV) and terrestrial broadcasts, and excludes online video services such as Netflix and NowTV.

Michael Goodman, director of TV & Media Strategies, said: “We have seen the cord-cutting trend for several years in the U.S., where the pay-TV business is more mature. Now it is starting to hit major markets in Europe, and this spells trouble for pay-TV operators, which cannot adapt to the needs of today’s viewers. The threat of falling subscriber revenues and stronger OTT rivals will also increase pressure from investors for further consolidation across the industry.”