European Cable Revenues Rise 4.6% in 2014: IHS

Top-line revenues from European cable operators grew 4.6%, to €21.5 billion (US$22.7 billion) in 2014, Cable Europe said, citing new data from IHS that was released at this week’s Cable Congress event in Brussels.

The research group attributed that more than €1 billon increase from investments in high-speed broadband networks and the rollout of new platforms out as MSOs continue to face off with incumbent operators and new players.

Among individual services, European MSOs enjoyed a 9% increase in broadband revenues and a 5.3% rise in telephony revenues. Telephony and Internet now comprise 50% of cable’s total revenues, according to IHS.

Cable ops in Europe also added more than 2.7 million Revenue Generating Units (RGUs) – the sum of TV, Internet and telephony customers – in 2014, up 2.4%, extending that total to about 112.5 million. Those operators also saw a net loss in cable TV subscribers, though total TV revenues still rose by more than 2% in 2014 thanks in part to digital migrations and a rise in VOD revenues. About 75% of total TV revenues from European MSOs are derived from digital, the research firm said.

“Our sector is growing through a time of tremendous change both in terms of the speed of technological development and new market entrants,” Manuel Kohnstamm, president of Cable Europe, said in a statement. “Over-the-top players delivering services through the internet are reinventing business models and shaking up the traditional competitive scene. Consumers on the other hand expect affordable prices, good quality service and great content.”

Separately, Cable Europe and CTAM Europe announced a partnership spanning content, programming and the production sector. HBO Europe and Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe are the first to sign formal joint membership agreements with the two bodies, they said.

The membership package will enhance co-operation and expertise on strategic issues of mutual interest and concern as well as strengthen both sectors' respective activities, they added.