Study: MTV, Disney Channel Are Most Widely Carried Networks in Europe

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A report from Digital TV Research says Discovery ranks third on the list of channels offered by pay TV operators across the continent.

LONDON – MTV is carried by more European operators than any other channel, according to a report published Wednesday.

The study by Digital TV Research, entitled TV Channel Distribution in Europe, also notes there are several other channels close behind including the Disney Channel and the Discovery Channel.

Viacom's MTV is carried by 123 operators across the region with the Disney Channel pushed along by 122 and the Discovery Channel securing 121 carriers.

Fox's National Geographic Channel with 120 and Eurosport rounds out the top five with 115 carriage agreements.

The 168-page report covers 238 international channels/networks across 152 major operators in 34 EMEA countries.

Of the total, 67 channels – or 28 percent -- transmit in high definition (HD).

Report author Simon Murray said: “No channel appears on every single platform. MTV is the leader as it is distributed by 123 operators – or 81 percent of the total. However, only 24 channels are distributed by more than half of the 152 operators covered."

The research notes that HD channels are growing in importance as operators look "to give subscribers something new."

The U.K.’s BSkyB leads in HDTV provision, by offering more than 60 HD channels.

National Geographic provides the most distributed HD channel with 100 operators while Eurosport HD has 91 and Disney XD has 75.

Rounding out the top five is Fox's Nat Geo Wild HD with 67 and Discovery HD Showcase with 66.

The report also shows there is strength in numbers:  Companies with a stable of channels leads to pan- European success.

13 groups contributed 228 channels, or 96 percent of the total.

And the report also noted that not all channels "want widespread carriage."

Some channels, according to the research, can gain sway with operators by offering exclusive carriage.