Study: Viacom, Discovery to Top European TV Revenue Ranking Through 2017

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Should Discovery's deal talks with France's TF1, which owns Eurosport, succeed, it could overtake the owner of MTV and Nickelodeon in Europe.

LONDON –  Viacom is set to be the top channel group by revenues generated across Europe in 2012 and remain at the top of the charts through 2017 according to a report by Digital TV Research.

The British based research group statistics indicate that Viacom is set to post revenues of $741 million in 2012 from Europe with that total growing to just under $1 billion in 2017.

The next tier of top pay TV channels by end of 2012 includes Discovery ($570 million), Disney ($549 million) and Eurosport ($575 million), which will all have similar revenues.

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In the third bracket, according to Digital TV Research is Fox ($409 million), NBC Universal ($309 million) and Turner ($447 million) all have similar revenues.

The report estimates and forecasts revenue for the principal pay TV channels of the major channel groups that operate across Europe.

The research indicates that total revenues for Europe’s top pay TV channels will reach $4.24 billion in 2012.

The TV Channel Revenues in Europe report expects this figure to grow by $1.04 billion to reach $5.28 billion by 2017.

It covers 195 international channels/networks (non-premium) from 11 groups.

The channels are those that combine platform subscriber/carriage fees with advertising income as well as their group’s major free-to-air advertiser supported channel brands. Premium channels, principally movies and sport that require extra payment by the public, have been excluded together with a number of newer minor channels.

The estimates and forecasts in the report have been prepped using an analysis of a database of hundreds of financial records for individual channels, channel groups and corporate parents.

Co-author Nicholas Moncrieff said: "Although it provides the bulk of the total, carriage fee revenue growth is slowing as markets mature. Having said that, carriage fee revenues will climb by 11.6 percent from $2.93 billion in 2012 to $3.26 billion in 2017."

Moncrieff noted that most of the growth will come from "a combination of higher penetration in Eastern Europe and the appearance of more HD channels that command higher carriage fees or at least allow channels to protect carriage fees in negotiations with platform operators."

Co-author Simon Murray said advertising has more room for growth "as non- traditional channels gain audience share and greater acceptance among ad agencies."

Murray added: "However, the international players face great competition as traditional domestic terrestrial players push their thematic channels. Advertising revenues for the channels featured in this report will increase by 53.1 percent from $1.32 billion in 2012 to $2.02 billion by 2017."