According to the Eastern Europe Pay TV Forecasts by Digital TV Research, tough times continue in Eastern Europe, with poor job prospects forcing many to seek work abroad. This migration, married with low birth rates, mean that populations will fall in fifteen of the 22 countries covered in the Eastern Europe Pay TV Forecasts report between 2016 and 2022.
According to Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, there will be a knock-on effect for the TV sector. The number of TV households will fall in eighteen countries between 2016 and 2022, with the region's total declining by almost 2 million. Pay-TV will struggle, losing 1 million subscribers over the same period.
Eastern Europe is slowly ridding itself of the legacy of analogue cable TV. Belated DTT launches in some countries have resulted in some analogue cable TV laggards converting to FTA DTT rather than the (more expensive) digital pay-TV platforms, according Telecompaper. The number of digital pay-TV subscribers will increase from 25 million (20.2 percent of TV households) in 2010 to 58 million (45.8 percent) in 2016 and to 77 million (61 percent) by 2022.
2017 will be the peak year for pay-TV in Eastern Europe. Analogue cable represented 28 percent of the 81 million pay TV subscribers at end-2016, so some of these 23 million subscribers will choose to convert to FTA DTT rather than to a digital pay platform.
Russia will account for nearly half of the region's pay-TV subscribers in 2022. However, the number of pay-TV subscribers will fall in ten countries between 2016 and 2022.
Pay TV revenues in Eastern Europe will peak at USD 6.11 billion in 2017 before settling at the USD 6 billion mark. Analogue cable will contribute USD 1 billion to the 2017 total, falling to USD 184 million in 2022.
Russia's low pay TV fees for analogue cable subscribers was continued by most satellite TV platforms. This means that Poland generates higher pay TV revenues than Russia, despite having far fewer subscribers.
Pay-TV revenues will fall in half of the 22 countries between 2016 and 2022. Revenues for market leader Poland will be lower in 2022 than they were in 2010.