Euro cable market nearly doubles since 2000


LONDON -- The European cable industry generated €17 million ($23 million) in revenue in 2006, almost doubling the market since 2000, according to new research published Friday by Screen Digest.

Growth is being driven by Internet and telecom services, which account for more than 40% of all revenue, up from 22% in 2000.

The transition from analog to digital subscribers has also accelerated with 16% of the continent's cable subscribers now using digital cable services.

Growth in the sector is being driven by the provision of cable Internet services, which was up 27% in 2006, closely followed by telecom services growth rates of 21% during the year.

Growth in TV subscribers was almost flat at just over 1%, but cable operators are increasingly turning to such services as VOD and PVR-enabled service as a way of increasing customer loyalty, the report concluded.

"True VOD services and PVRs and DVRs are in many markets becoming standard issue rather than premium add-ons," the report said, citing increased competition from IPTV and DTT platforms as the reason cable operators were enhancing their product range.

"The cable industry, which has mooted such service developments for some time, is having to move quickly to match these new contenders."