Revenue of cable market in European Union rose 3 percent to 24 billion euros in 2018 from 23.3 billion euros in 2017.
The number of cable revenue generating units (RGUs) in the EU, according to the European Broadband Cable Yearbook offered by Cable Europe and IHS Markit | Technology, increased by about 1 million in 2018 to 121.7 million from 120.6 million in 2017.
The majority of the RGU growth originated from the broadband sector, where consumers are continuing to add subscriptions to cable internet services.
“European cable operators have successfully diversified their offerings into complete bundles of video, voice and internet services. This has positioned them to capitalize on the voracious consumer appetite for broadband,” said Maria Rua Aguete, executive director of media, service providers and platforms for IHS Markit | Technology.
RGUs for cable internet service increased to 38 million in 2018 from 37.1 million in 2017. Internet RGU growth outperformed the other services offered by cable providers in the region. EU subscriptions to cable TV declined by 275,000 in 2018.
Television service still accounts for the largest share of the EU cable business, representing 45 percent of revenue in 2018.
“TV’s portion of the business is on the decline as internet service claims a larger and larger piece of the market. Internet service totaled 35 percent of revenue in 2018, potentially putting this area on track to become the sector’s largest revenue generator in the coming years,” said Rua Aguete.
The deployments of DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 are playing a major role in stimulating consumer demand. DOCSIS 3.1 in particular is delivering a major leap in data speeds, attracting increased interest among internet users.
EU cable-TV service subscribers, which increased for the first time in nine years in 2017, declined in 2018, falling by 275,000 homes.
Digital cable subscribers continued to rise in the region, increasing by 4 million to reach 45.2 million in 2018, as operators successfully converted significant numbers of subscribers from analog TV to higher-value digital services.
Based on the power of bundled services, EU cable operators have grown total ARPUs by €9 over 10 years by selling more services.
Europeans still receive their pay TV via cable more than any other technology, despite the toughest competitive environment ever.
DOCSIS 3.1 deployments have accelerated through 2018 and 2019 as operators look to offer gigabit speeds, and cable meets the challenge from fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).