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US grows 0.2% in Pay TV in a quarter, Europe manages 3%

There is a game that happens at this time of year, all US analysts count up how many pay TV adds there are among the top US pay TV operators and use i

By PETER WHITE

Published: 10 March, 2011

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There is a game that happens at this time of year, all US analysts count up how many pay TV adds there are among the top US pay TV operators and use it as a pointer to how healthy the pay TV market it.

Well we have some anomalies in the US line up this year, with Dish actually shrinking badly, off 156,000 homes rather than its traditional growth, due in part to perceived weaknesses of its offering against DirecTV, rather than DTH’s overall weakness, but we calculate that the top 8 companies, two IPTV, two DTH and the rest cable, come up with a rise in US pay TV homes of around 173,000 in the US this part quarter, an increase of under 0.2%.

Overall cable, taking in just Comcast, Cablevision Charter and Time Warner Cable, lost a total of 378,000 pay TV homes between them, a savage amount of homes, which Telcos and IPTV (Verizon and AT&T) added 418,000 and DTH collectively added just 133,000 homes.

US TV additions fourth quarter 2010

Verizon + 182

AT&T +236

Comcast -135

Cablevision - 35

Charter -67

DirecTV +289

Dish -156

Time Warner Cable - 141

But at Faultline we have taken a long hard look at Europe as well, using data from our soon to be released pay TV report for Europe, and can see that a massive 3.5 million pay TV homes have been added during the past quarter alone taking Europe up to around 121 million pay TV homes, a growth of some 3% in just one quarter.

France added the most by a long with 532,000 additional pay TV homes, something it achieves by exclusively selling triple play bundles. Some of the more interesting numbers include a rise in the massively competitive Romania of 184,000 such homes, the addition of some 168,000 in the UK and 144,000 in Germany, as well as 170,000 adds in Poland.

The Germany story is quite dramatic with Cable losing 99,000 TV homes and DTH and IPTV showing neck and neck growth, both above 120,000 each in the quarter.

Hungary was interesting because it actually went backwards by 28,000 pay TV homes and Denmark added 64,000, but was odd in that most of these were cable TV homes at TDC. The Czech Republic added 91,000 pay TV homes almost all of that in DTH.

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