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EU IPTV Services Becoming Disruptive Influence

Posted: 01st Sep, 2007 By: MarkJ
New research from Screen Digest suggests that European broadband Television (IPTV) services, while still small, are moving into a state of rapid expansion; Tiscali UK's announcement is certainly evidence of that.

The study states there to be well over 60 IPTV services operated across Europe, with more launching all the time. France is one such example, boasting 8 IPTV operators, saturating the market with TV services:

The UK is in a similar situation - BT covers the low-price market, Tiscali and Virgin the mid-range, and Sky the premium end of the scale. A further dimension was recently added to the UK's situation with the launch of Setanta sports on BT Vision. UK sports fans are now able to watch a significant amount of football without having to pay a higher monthly subscription to Sky Sports.

Screen Digest's IPTV Analyst Richard Broughton says: "There is now a TV service for everyone. While in the past, consumers were forced to pay a premium for multi-channel TV, they can now simply pick the operator which best suits their needs and their pocket."

However it's not all good news and the UK in particular is singled out for its lack of IPTV movement, placing us behind the rest of Europe:

There is currently only one nationally available IPTV service in the UK – BT Vision. This compares to the eight services in France, four major operations in Spain, two in Italy and two in Germany.

The UK began the year with only 54,000 IPTV customers, and while BT is now adding 2,000-3,000 customers per week, the delayed national roll-out of Tiscali TV has ensured that fewer than one in 100 UK households will be taking IPTV by the end of the year. By contrast, according to Screen Digest predictions, nearly one in 25 will have it in Spain and around one in ten French households will take IPTV by the beginning of 2008.

Typically ScreenDigest issued its piece only days ahead of Tiscali's announcement this morning, making the first paragraph quoted above somewhat redundant.

It will be interesting to see how many more ISP's move into the IPTV market. Bundled services are all the rage right now but TV isn't easy to get right, especially where network costs are concerned.
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