Pay-TV subscriptions will overtake advertising as television’s
biggest source of revenue in Europe by 2002, according to the latest
report from Zenith Media on TV trends in Europe.
Zenith Media estimates that the number of TV homes with multichannel
packages will increase to 57 per cent by 2008, with the uptake driven by
The pay-TV market, which is worth an estimated dollars 21.6 billion this
year, will be worth dollars 60 billion in nine years’ time. Basic pay-TV
packages currently account for just over half of revenue at dollars 12.6
billion, with the remaining dollars 9 billion spent on premium packages
that would include films and sports coverage.
Despite the backlash against the proposed increases to the BBC TV
licence fee, its cost compared with other European countries’ TV fees is
reasonable. Belgium has the highest licence fee, at dollars 326 per
annum. The UK ranks eighth in terms of expense, at dollars 167.
TV adspend is set to grow 37 per cent in real terms to dollars 51
billion in the next ten years. This is down on the ten years to 1998,
which saw a 40 per cent increase in growth.
The UK still dominates ad expenditure in Europe, with total spend for
this year estimated to be dollars 5 billion. Germany follows close
behind with dollars 4.7 billion and Italy slips in third at dollars 4.2
Adam Smith, director of Zenith Media’s publications, said: ’Germany
should be a great deal bigger than the UK, but it isn’t because
commercial TV has only existed there since the 80s.’