Digital TV, broadband on rise in Europe

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BRUSSELS -- Digital television and high-speed cable broadband grew rapidly last year in spite of mounting competition from IPTV services, the European cable industry said Wednesday.

Total cable revenue in Europe rose 12.6% to 17.9 billion euros ($28.4 billion) in 2007, up from 15.9 billion euros in 2006, said Cable Europe, which represents Europe's cable companies.

It said that digital cable TV customers more than doubled in the past two years to 13.9 million -- including a 40% growth spurt in 2007, up from 9.9 million in 2006.

Broadband Internet customers rose by more than 20% to 15.6 million last year, the group said, up from 12.8 million in 2006. Cable telephony services grew 19% to 11.6 million customers, up from 9.7 million in 2006. And the number of unique cable customers rose to 72.7 million from 70.5 million.

"Cable in Europe is successfully leveraging its experience in offering TV services to take the lead in providing interactive high quality digital TV," said Cable Europe president and Kabel Deutschland chief commercial officer Manuel Cubero.
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