April 10, 2007

Number of IPTV subscribers expected to double in 2007

by Brian Turner

IPTV

Screen Digest, the media analyst, expects the European market for IPTV to double in 2007.

Research examining 54 IPTV services across Europe found that IPTV is the fastest growing pay-TV platform.

The service is growing faster than all other platforms combined and subscriptions to IPTV services across Europe are expected to almost double from 2.9m in 2006 to 5.6m in 2007.

The major IPTV operators in Europe are Orange, Telefónica, Free Telecom, Neuf Telecom and Fastweb, which together accounted for 60% of the total market across the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

These operators are expected to retain their leading positions through 2007.

The uptake of IPTV in France, Spain and the UK is being driven by the availability of hybrid Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) and IPTV boxes. This allows customers to access DTT channels free of charge, and gives them the option to take pay-TV and Video on Demand (VoD).

This model is used by BT in the UK and Darty in France.

In the UK, the number of IPTV subscribers is expected to grow from 80,000 to 300,000 by the end of 2007 – an increase of 250% – prompted by the recent launch of BT’s service and national launches from rivals Tiscali and France Telecom in the autumn.

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