Digital TV Research forecasts steady fall in East Europe pay TV subs by 2027 | News

The number of pay TV subscribers in Eastern Europe will fall from 82 million in 2018 to 74 million in 2027, according to UK firm Digital TV Research.

The peak year of 2018 included 17 million analogue cable subscribers, which will drop to zero by 2027. The number of digital pay TV subs, meanwhile, will grow by nine million over the same period.

Pay TV subscriber numbers will fall in 18 of Eastern Europe’s 22 countries between 2021 and 2027, dropping by four million in 2022 alone, mainly due to Ukraine losing all of its 2.6 million.

In Russia, the number of pay TV subscriptions will decline from 41.9 million in 2021 to 36.9 million in 2027. Poland will see a decline from 10.2 million to 9.7 million in the same period, while Romania’s figure will decrease from 5.4 million to 5.1 million.

In Hungary, pay TV subs will fall from 3.7 million in 2021 to 3.4 million in 2027, while Belarus will see a decline from 2.8 to 2.6 million.

Other countries combined will see a fall from 16.9 million to just under 16.0 million over the same period.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Russia will account for half of the region’s pay TV subscribers in 2027. However, Russia will lose five million pay TV subscribers between 2021 and 2027 partly as sanctions worsen the economic situation and due to some analogue cable homes converting to free-to-air DTT.

“We assume that Russia will withdraw from Ukraine before end-2022. After the Russian withdrawal, we expect massive investment in Ukraine by Western companies/governments as well as most refugees returning home.”