Central, Eastern European business expands

LONDON — A booming Russian pay TV market is expected to drive growth in subscription TV services in Eastern and Central European in the next four years.

A report by Screen Digest covering pay TV in 12 Central and Eastern European countries and Russia suggests that total pay TV penetration will increase rapidly in the region from 40% at the end of 2007 to 60% by 2012.

By 2012 some 63 million homes in the regional are expected to subscribe to pay TV services, with Russia accounting for 28 million of these.

Screen Digest analyst Andrew Katolo said: “The opportunities for investors, particularly in satellite pay TV platforms, are improving rapidly.

“However, aggressive pricing poses challenges for the future and consolidation, in both the cable and satellite markets, is likely.”

Since 2004, Central European economies and Russia have enjoyed rapid growth, expanding at more than double the rate of markets in Western Europe.

Last year saw the market growing at its fastest rate, with 18% growth in the total number of pay TV subscribers.

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