European cable homes on the rise as FTA viewing in Spain hits record low
The number of cable homes in Europe rose to 69.2 million in 2017, representing 36.3 per cent of all television households, despite competition from other delivery methods.
The number is the highest since 2009, when the figure stood at 70 million, according to the European Broadband Cable Yearbook from IHS Markit and Cable Europe.
TV services accounted for 46 per cent of cable TV revenue, followed by internet with 35 per cent and telephony with 19 per cent.
Germany remains the largest cable TV market in Europe, with 18.7 million subscribers, more than three times the number of unique subscribers in the next biggest markets of Romania, the UK and Poland.
However, the total number of cable TV service subscribers in Europe remained unchanged at 58.9 million.
Maria Rua Aguete, executive director of media, service providers and platforms for IHS Markit, said: “Broadband internet is a key factor in European cable TV revenue growth. Triple-play and quad-play strategies are also being implemented. They strengthen operators’ status as a multi-platform point to anytime, anywhere content.”
Meanwhile, free-to-air TV viewership in Spain fell to a record low of 76.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, thanks to the rise of pay-TV, according to figures from CNMC, the country's communications regulator.
Pay-TV subscriptions reached 6.7 million at the end of the quarter, up 10.4 per cent year-on-year.
A survey by CNMC found that 65.2 per cent of Spanish people said that they were regular viewers of TVE, the country’s public-service broadcaster, while 48.7 per cent were satisfied with the variety and quality of programmes broadcast.