1. Eurosport Still the undisputed king of all the pan-European TV
networks, Eurosport is now 100 per cent owned by TF1 after the French
network bought out the Canal+ network. At present Eurosport is gearing
up for a busy 2002 with events such as the Winter Olympics from Salt
Lake City, the World Cup and the European Athletics Championships.
Eighteen months after Kevin Razvi deserted the MindShare ship to join
the boisterous Lawson Muncaster at CNN, AOL Time Warner's flagship news
network is slightly losing share among the top end of the market,
according to EMS and Europe 2001 data. The channel introduced new
programming in 2001, including the twice-daily Business
MTV hit 20 this year (how old does that make you feel?). It faces new
challenges in the UK from the likes of digital stations such as Emap's
QTV and Play UK, as well as from more familiar rivals such as Viva in
Germany. Still, MTV claims to have more than doubled its European
distribution over the past four years.
Discovery has revamped the Mastermind quiz show in the UK, transforming
it into an interactive extravaganza fronted with a viewers' final.
Discovery also plans to roll this out into mainland Europe in 2002. The
network's production facility teamed up with the BBC in 2001 to deliver
two highly acclaimed series: The Blue Planet and Walking With
5. National Geographic
National Geographic covers natural history, science, wildlife, adventure
and peoples of the world. EMS 2001 data estimates more than five million
upscale Western Europeans watch National Geographic every month. Its
expansion continued in 2001, with new channels in Portugal, Spain,
Russia, Greece and France.
6. CNBC Europe
Dow Jones and NBC's joint offering boasts increased live feeds from
Europe's trading floors. This year, it teamed up with Class Editori in
Italy to establish a presence there. It also appointed Visa
International's vice-president of brand marketing, Matthias Hanssen, to
the new role of marketing director.
7. BBC World
The BBC's global news network shot to fame when the BBC veteran John
Simpson successfully smuggled himself into Afghanistan dressed up as a
local woman. It also launched a Spanish language feed and Business At
Breakfast Time. It also intends to launch a European current affairs
programme in the new year.
The financial channel Bloomberg had a good year in 2001 and increased
its audience share more than any other pan-EuropeanTV network, according
to EMS data. The channel also enjoyed huge growth in Germany and
broadened out its offering and its distribution.
The big news from this pan-European, ITN-owned news channel was that it
went live across the UK and Ireland this week. The Lyons-based network
is now available to more than five million subscribers on the Sky
Digital platform. It also launched a Russian language stream.
10. Sky News
Sky News increased its distribution in 2001 and faces intense
competition from CNN, CNBC, BBC World and Euronews. However, with its
heritage from such a high profile in the UK, it has more of a friendly,
"home from home" image than many of the other news networks.