Dutch digital TV connections grow 2.5% in first quarter of 2012

Dutch digital TV connections grow 2.5% in first quarter of 2012

The number of digital TV connections in the Netherlands grew by 2.5 percent during the first quarter of 2012 to 6.27 million on 31 March 2012, according to Telecompaper’s quarterly Dutch Television Subscribers report. The total includes 3.57 million cable TV subscribers who have an analogue TV connection as well.

Digital TV is now used by almost 80 percent of TV subscribers in the Netherlands. Ziggo was the largest digital TV provider at the end of March 2012, after adding 0.8 percentage points in market share over the previous 12 months. It was followed by KPN, UPC and CanalDigitaal. Most consumers receive digital TV via cable networks, which still had a market share of 57 percent in Q1, despite losing share due to the growing adoption of IPTV and FTTH services. Terrestrial and satellite were the second and third most popular digital technologies, but both also lost market share in Q1. IPTV and FTTH were able to increase their share of the digital TV market, ending the quarter as the fourth and fifth largest technologies.

“After 13 percent annual growth in 2011, we expect the number of digital TV connections to grow by another 11 percent in 2012,” said Telecompaper analyst and report author Kamiel Albrecht. “For the following years, digital TV growth could be impacted by the new Media Act’s requirement for cable operators to offer wholesale analogue TV services from 2013. This could lead to a slowdown in the current trend of analogue cable TV customers moving to digital cable TV.”

Digital TV growth is driven by an increasing number of operators offering triple-play services, such as Vodafone offering services via FTTH networks. Another driver is ‘second screen’ TV services, which allow digital TV subscribers to watch the TV service also on their tablets, computers or mobile phones. Ziggo, KPN and its brands Telfort and XS4ALL have launched such services, and UPC is also expected to follow soon with enhancements to its iPhone and iPad apps, possibly alongside the launch of its broadband set-top box later in 2012.

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