European pay-TV resists recession

Despite a bleak economic climate, European Pay TV providers continue to add new subscribers. Collectively, Europe’s top ten providers added nearly 1.5 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2011, according to a report by Strategy Analytics.

BSkyB holds on to the title of the largest Pay TV service provider in Western Europe, posting 10.1 million subscribers at the end of Q1 2011, while French IPTV operators SFR and Free each saw their strongest first quarter results in four years.

“Pay TV in Europe has shown remarkable resilience,” said Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service, “especially when viewed against the backdrop of persistently high unemployment rates and strained household budgets.”

While Satellite continues to be the dominant access platform in Europe, IPTV is making considerable inroads, according to this report. European IPTV operators tracked by Strategy Analytics added one million new subscribers in the first quarter.

The report, “Digital Television Operator Performance Benchmarking: Europe Q1 2011,” summarizes quarterly subscriber growth trends for over 65 European Digital Television Operators.

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