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Worldwide HDTV Channels to Triple in Five Years

Forecasts tell us that by 2010 there will be approximately 100 High Definition Channels available in Europe

Research and Markets has announced the addition of Screen Digests new report: High Definition Television: Global Uptake and Assessment To 2010 to their offering.

This report analyses the uptake of high definition television on a global basis. The top 19 television markets are reviewed in Western Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific region. The report encompasses all business models (payTV, Free-to-air), all delivery platforms (DTH, DTT, cable, IPTV) and examines the impacts of HDTV all along the value chain: consumer electronics, TV production, broadcasting, pay TV, cable and satellite. Opportunities and challenges for broadcasters and other players are provided. Uptake forecasts are detailed by market, platform and business models.

At the end of 2005 there were already 2m ‘HD ready’ TV households in Europe and by 2010 there will be more than 50m ‘HD ready’ TV sets, creating large opportunities for European pay TV operators. It’s predicted that by 2010 there will be approximately 100 HD channels available in Europe and more than 11m households will be actually watching television in HD quality (receiving HD broadcasts on HD ready sets and set-top boxes).

Across the globe HD has already made its mark and in early 2006, HD broadcasts were available in 12 countries: USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, China, Germany and Austria, and the Nordic markets (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway). By the end of 2005 there were 19m households with HDTV sets in the US (17% of total TV households) with 11m of these watching HD broadcasts. At the same time 14% (6.7m) of TV households in Japan were HD ready.

On a global basis, by the end of 2010 the number of HD ready households will reach 174m or 22% of TV households. The figure will be 59% in the US, 66% in Japan and 30% in Western Europe.

In a maturing pay TV market European operators have great expectations for HD as an effective marketing tool to increase revenue per subscriber, to reduce churn and to increase subscriber numbers. Consumer surveys show that consumers are more than ever demanding higher quality television and are ready to pay for the necessary hardware and service. BSkyB identifies HD as a key factor in its quest to reach 10m subscribers by 2010.

Key Findings:

  • Uptake of HD will be fuelled by developments in the hardware and broadcasting industries. The fast-growing market for HD-ready flat television sets (it is expected that 66 million European households to be equipped by 2010), will be leveraged by pay TV operators seeking to increase their subscriber base and average revenue per subscriber : Premiere, BSkyB, TPS, Canal+, Sky Italia will launch HD services in 2006.
  • In the short term, strong sales of HD-ready TV sets at Christmas 2005 and in the run up to the World Cup in July 2006, which will be broadcast in HD, will be two strong market drivers for HD broadcasts. This will also encourage the free-to-air broadcasters to accelerate their plans for HDTV broadcasting.
  • Free-to-air players broadcasters will also need to migrate to HD in order to match the technical quality of DVD and in future, high definition DVD. ProSieben and Sat1 in Germany have already launched HDTV versions of their channels and the BBC is expected to start broadcasting in HDTV during peak viewing time by mid-2006.
  • By 2010, 12 million European TV households will receive HDTV programmes and watch them on an HD-ready television set. This will include 9 million pay TV subscribers and 3 million free-to-air households.
  • Worldwide, there were 67 HDTV channels by year end 2005. Strong growth in HD broadcast channels will take place in 2006 and from then on there will be steady growth to 2010, when its forecast over 200 HD channels worldwide.
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