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Central and Eastern Europe has a unique TV market

IHS Markit home entertainment analyst Andrey Popov told attendees at Digital TV Central & Eastern Europe that it was a unique region.

“In terms of cord cutting, there hasn’t been any. Every single platform shows growth, something nothing else in the world has shown. Online is competing for the same viewing time as all other ways of delivering content,” he said, presenting IHS Markit’s data for the region.

He said that while payTV penetration was higher in CEE than the rest of Europe, broadband penetration was not, with just 52% of households having high-speed internet vs 74% in western Europe.

The region undergoing significant changes in terms of subscription TV growth, with 65% growth in online subs in 2017, Popov said, with forecast growth of 38% CAGR over the next five years. This is largely due to Netflix.

“By 2021, online will double its share of the market,” he said, “representing 20% of total subscriptions.”

The contribution to this growth varies by country, led by Poland. With Netflix driving growth, Popov said: “Countries where we see most growth are ones that are more inclined to consume global content or have a strong local content.”

Despite the dominance of Netflix, Popov said there was opportunity for local players, which can deliver localised content at a lower ARPU. “Netflix has served as an advertising model for the paid-OTT model,” he said.

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