×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Domino effect of Europe’s DTT switchover

MIP Preview 2012

With 2012 the year of Europe’s self-imposed deadline to switch from analog to digital terrestrial television, or DTT, the region has been making “multichannel” its mantra.

Multichannel growth is boosting overall European TV revenues, up 5.6% to $120 billion in 2010, while upping the amount of time spent in front of the tube by an average 2.7%, according to a recent study by Italy’s ITMedia Consulting.

The key change in this new landscape is that auds for free DTT and pay TV channels are growing at the expense of traditional stations.

“If you look at the American multichannel market, it’s very similar to what the European multichannel market will become in the next decade, when generalist channels will be phased out and you will just have thematic channels,” predicts Francesco Nespega, topper of Italy’s Switchover Media.

Switchover is a typical new player in Europe’s digital TV market, recently becoming an Italo market leader in the kiddie field with two channels, K2 and Frisbee.

That said, channel multiplication is mostly due to existing players expanding their services, rather than a proliferation of new ones, says analyst Augusto Preta, who heads Rome-based ITMedia Consulting. In the U.K., for example, the incumbents — BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 — now have a combined total of DTT 26 channels.

The numerous niche channels, beamed either on free or pay TV, altogether account for half of TV viewing. The fastest growing genres are sports (thanks to high-def), movies, light entertainment and kids’ channels.

For Hollywood, the key impact of Europe’s new TV scenario is that lucrative output deals, which the studios once relied on, are fading as generalist players tighten their belts, faced with the new distribution model and the economic crisis.

That is why Disney, Discovery, and other Stateside content companies have been accessing the European market directly by launching signature channels on DTT in several countries, integrating free programs with their premium offer on pay.

In February, Viacom chose Spain as the first country to launch Paramount Channel, a free-to-air, ad-supported movie channel. Disney Channel has been beaming on DTT in Spain since 2008.

“The key difference with the U.S. is that the U.S. cable system can rely on fees as well as advertising, while in Europe the DTT system is entirely advertising-supported,” says Nespega.

For paybox operators, Europe’s wide free multichannel DTT offer means they must boost their offer to more premium product like high-def, 3D, or exclusive events.

MIP Preview
Connecting the hots | Domino effect of Europe’s DTT switchover | Scripps boosts UKTV fortunes
Return to the main page

More Film

  • Todd Phillips Joker Movie

    Box Office: 'Joker' Becomes First R-Rated Movie to Hit $1 Billion

    Warner Bros.’ “Joker” will on Friday become the first R-rated movie in history to earn over $1 billion at the global box office. Joaquin Phoenix’s twisted take on the Batman villain marks the seventh movie this year (and first that’s not from Disney or Marvel) to join the elusive billion-dollar club. Among Warner Bros.’ movies, [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Al PacinoKirk

    Martin Scorsese Saluted by Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino at Santa Barbara Film Fest Gala

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino saluted Martin Scorsese‘s dedication and risk-taking at his Santa Barbara International Film Festival tribute, while the filmmaker spoke about the importance of “individual artistic expression.” More than 300 people attended the black-tie gala on Thursday night in Scorsese’s honor at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, where festival exec director [...]

  • amazon-studios

    John Lynch Out as Head of Production at Amazon Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Lynch is leaving Amazon Studios, the streaming service where he served as head of production and operations, Variety has learned. Rumors began swirling earlier this week that Lynch was out at the company. Lynch has been with Amazon since 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile. Lynch notified staff of his departure on Friday. It’s [...]

  • 'Angelfish' Review: An Attractive But Underwritten

    Film Review: 'Angelfish'

    Destiny Frasqueri (better known to her Generation Z fans as Nuyorican rapper Princess Nokia) makes a winning, delicate screen debut in “Angelfish,” a low-key Bronx romance that proves a surprisingly muted vehicle for her outsize performing charisma. As Eva, a hard-up, lovelorn daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, torn between familial responsibilities and a more creative, [...]

  • Roger Deakins 1917 Movie Cinematography

    'Midway,' '1917' DPs on Unique Challenges War Movies Present

    Cinematographers who set out to shoot war films like “1917” and “Midway” face a bigger challenge than navigating explosions or running alongside the actors in the midst of a special effects battlefield. They have to find a way to tell the combat story that will captivate audiences that have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content