When the Big Two come to play in your backyard, it’s time to up your game.
Netflix and Amazon have launched a push into Europe that will likely result in some bad nights of sleep for operators, pay-TV channels and broadcasters looking themselves to do more business over the top.
Despite increasing competition from over-the-top players and from satellite providers, and declining subscriber numbers, the cable industry in the European Union has continued to grow with gross cable revenues topping €22.4 billion ($23.34 billion) in 2015, a 5.7% increase year-over-year.
More than half of cable revenues in 2015 (53%) came from Internet and phone services, according to a report from IHS Markit, with Internet revenues up nearly 10% to €7.2 billion.
U.S. operators – especially telcos – are facing a triple cord-cutting threat as subscribers are dropping their landlines, traditional pay-TV subscriptions and, increasingly, broadband plans, as consumers look to mobile as their one-source supplier.
Researcher Ovum’s World Broadband Information Service says the trend is “looming” over U.S. operators, but adds that other regions also are potentially facing disruption on all three fronts.
Netflix is now available to Liberty Global customers in a pair of European countries, part of its deal with the international cableco that will give it direct access to millions of potential subscribers and help Liberty Global reduce churn and cord cutting, while also potentially attracting younger consumers to its larger service.
AT&T today detailed its new DirecTV Now streaming offer, targeting the growing number of cord cutters and cord nevers in the United States who are looking for alternatives to the traditional pay-TV landscape.
The service will launch Wednesday and promises “on-demand and live programming from many networks” in addition to premium add-ons and some significant gaps (notably CBS and Showtime).
Brazil’s pay-TV subscriber numbers grew Q/Q during the third quarter by 47,000, the first gains the sector has shown in at least seven quarter. And, although those numbers represent a decrease of 558,000 (almost 3%) from a year ago, the slight upward tick is, hopefully, a sign of things to come.
Brazil’s 18.96 million pay-TV subscribers makes it the second-largest in Latin America, behind only Mexico.
Pay-TV subscription declines continued at a record pace, with the industry losing an estimated 430,000 subscribers in the third quarter, bring the loss for the first 9 months of the year to 1.3 million, the most ever for the first nine months of the year.
Research firm SNL Kagan said the Q3 loss was higher than a year ago, with the telco segment hit the hardest, fueled by AT&T’s continued move to satellite delivery via DirecTV from its legacy U-verse IPTV product.
Canadian telco Bell Canada is making its IPTV product, Bell Fibe, available on Apple TV, making it the first pay-TV service from the Great White North to be available on the device.
European cable giant Liberty Global expects to more than double the take rate its mobile service has among its 17 million broadband subscribers in Europe, dramatic growth that CEO Mike Fries says will deliver “huge benefits” to the companies base of customers and delivering higher ARPU, lower churn, and happier customers.
Satellite pay-TV provider Dish Network is offering NBA Team Pass to its subscribers, the first pay-TV provider in the U.S. to make the $119 single-team package available. The deal delivers any out-of-market game for any of the leagues’s 30 teams live to subs. (Dish also will continue to offer NBA League Pass, which includes up to 40 live and on-demand out-of-market games for $199.)
Telefónica has reaffirmed its commitment to drive Peru’s digital transformation, promising to spend $3 billion expanding products and services there by 2020.
Chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete said the Spanish multinational would bolster its IoT investments in the areas of health, education and security, among others, saying “We are convinced that digital life is an essential part of being human.”
The 14 largest service providers added more than 190,000 broadband customers in the second quarter, the smallest add for a quarter in the past 15 years.
Cable operators – led by Charter and Comcast -- added 553,293 new subscribers while telcos saw their market share slip, losing 360,783 subs, with AT&T (down 123,000) being the biggest loser.