IPTV Growth Gets Euro Pop

European carriers are adding tens of thousands of IPTV subs each month as the Old Continent leads the way in telco TV growth

November 2, 2007

5 Min Read
IPTV Growth Gets Euro Pop

European broadband users are signing up for IPTV services in the hundreds of thousands each quarter, making Europe the biggest and fastest growing telco TV region in the world.

Financial reports from the past few days show that incumbent carriers are growing their TV over DSL subscriber numbers at a furious pace, with Orange (NYSE: FTE) leading the way.

The French national carrier had 975,000 IPTV subscribers in France at the end of its third quarter, an increase of 138,000 (about 16 percent) from the 837,000 it had at the end of its second quarter, and more than double compared with a year ago. (See table below.)

Table 1: France Telecom's IPTV Subs Growth Mar 2006 - Sept. 2007

At 31 March 2006

At 30 June 2006

At 30 Sept. 2006

At 31 Dec. 2006

At 31 March 2007

At 30 June 2007

At 30 Sept. 2007

Number of IPTV subscribers in France

229,000

306,000

421,000

577,000

745,000

837,000

975,000

Number of IPTV subscribers in total (all territories)

229,000

306,000

426,000

590,000

768,000

872,000

1,017,000





France Telecom had 6.9 million DSL subscribers as of September 30, so almost one in seven of its broadband customers has signed up for IPTV. It also has an additional 42,000 IPTV customers in other territories, most of which are in Poland (believed to be around 23,000) and Spain, according to the carrier.

FT's success is one of the reasons why France is far and away the single biggest IPTV market in the world. According to statistics compiled by research house Point Topic Ltd. for the Broadband Forum , there were 8.23 million IPTV subscribers in the world at the end of June this year, of which nearly 5 million were in Europe, including 2.55 million in France. (See table below.)

Table 2: Global IPTV Subscribers 2005 - 2007

Region

H1 2005

H1 2006

H1 2007

Europe

521,000

1,505,000

4,984,000

Asia/Pacific

612,000

987,000

2,176,000

Americas

267,000

409,000

1,069,000

Other users

70,000

50,000

0*

Total Worldwide

1,470,000

2,950,000

8,229,000





In addition to France Telecom, Iliad (Euronext: ILD) and Neuf Cegetel Group (Euronext: NEUF) are the other main players in France. At the end of June, Iliad had around 1 million customers using its TV over broadband services, and Neuf Cegetel had nearly 600,000 IPTV customers, while Telecom Italia (TIM) 's Alice France had around 60,000.

That figure for France made it the only country with more than 1 million IPTV subscribers as of June 30, with Hong Kong the second biggest single market with 938,000 telco TV subscribers at that time, and the U.S. just behind in third with 937,118.

Of the top 10 IPTV markets globally, five are in Europe, with the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Germany joining France. (See table below.)

Table 3: Top 10 IPTV Markets June 2007 by SUbscribers

Rank

Market

IPTV subscribers at end of June 2007

1

France

2,550,000

2

Hong Kong

938,000

3

US

937,118

4

China

540,000

5

Netherlands

500,000

6

Spain

450,900

7

Italy

400,000

8

Japan

350,000

9

Taiwan

333,000

10

Germany

218,000





Other recent IPTV subscriber updates from Europe include:

  • Telia Company boosted its IPTV base by about 76,000 to 276,000 during its third quarter. In Sweden it now has 216,000 IPTV subscribers, an increase of 58,000 over the second quarter. Its remaining telco TV users are in Estonia and Lithuania, where the combined total now stands at 50,000, up about 10,000 in the three months to the end of September. (See TeliaSonera Reports Q3.)

  • Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) is having a mixed time with its TV services. Its digital terrestrial TV offer, launched in 2004 to rival the country's cable operators, is growing well, and the carrier's total TV service subscriber base now stands at 414,000 at the end of the third quarter, up 23 percent sequentially. Of that total, though, only a few tens of thousands are thought to be IPTV customers, though the carrier does not officially split out its TV numbers.

    Some of Europe's other main IPTV players are due to report their latest figures in the coming days. Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), which had more than 450,000 IPTV customers at the end of June, reports its third quarter results on November 12, while Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), which is on a crusade to achieve 200,000 IPTV customers by the end of the year, presents its third quarter results on November 8. (See DT Cuts Its IPTV Price.)

    Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), which had 50,000 IPTV users at the end of June makes its latest earnings presentation on November 7, Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG), which had 190,000 IPTV customers at the end of June, reports its third quarter on November 9, while BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which is yet to provide official numbers for its BT Vision service, reports its fiscal second quarter on November 8.

    — Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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