Digital Cable to Overtake Analogue in Europe This Year

European cable industry celebrates record year at Cable Congress in Brussels.

COLOGNE, Germany - While cord cutting continues to plague cable TV operators in the U.S., European cablers gathered at annual industry confab the Cable Congress in Brussels (March 7-9) are celebrating a record year.

Cable revenues across Europe jumped 7 percent to $26 billion (€19.9 billion), hitting a new high-water mark for the industry as subscribers increasingly opt to receive pricey digital TV and broadband services from their cable provider.

According to figures complied by IHS Screen Digest from cable operators in 27 European countries, some 46 percent of European cable subscribers are now digital and that figure will cross the 50 percent mark sometime this year.

The wider the digital cable footprint, the greater the growth potential for European operators, who continue to expand their business into lucrative digital pay TV, high-speed Internet and telephony services. According to Screen Digest, digital TV revenue was up 18 percent in Europe to $8.7 billion (€6.6 billion) last year. Broadband subscriber figures jumped nearly 10 percent to 25.4 million homes and 20 million Europeans now receive telephony services via cable, up 10 percent from 2010.

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