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Television industry in Europe - statistics & facts

Europe’s television landscape is as dynamic and diverse as its population. Over the past few years, revenues of the European TV and home video market have remained stable, and while segments such as advertising took a visible hit due to the onset of the pandemic, television remains one of the leading sources of news and entertainment for millions of people. The number of TV viewers in Europe continues to grow steadily, and despite mounting competition from online streaming services, viewership peaked at 715 million in 2020. But while TV penetration rates keep rising, traditional TV consumption is slowly declining as viewing habits and preferences continuously evolve.

Commercial TV and advertising

Television remains an attractive advertising platform as popular shows or sports events can draw massive audiences to the screen. In 2020, TV ad spend in Western Europe amounted to approximately 24 billion U.S. dollars, and while this figure marked an annual decline of over 12 percent, advertisers are set to refuel expenditures on TV clips in the future. A swift upswing in spending is also forecast for Central and Eastern Europe, which have traditionally only held a small share of the global TV ad market. Overall, the number of TV spots broadcast in Europe now stands at over 113 million.

Public TV

Public or government-funded TV is highly popular throughout Europe. In 2020, the BBC remained the UK’s leading TV broadcaster with an audience share of around 32 percent, and in Norway, viewership for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) even reached 43 percent amid the pandemic. During the past decade, European audience shares for public service TV have generally ranged between 30 to 40 percent, depending on the country.

Pay TV

Pay TV is battling a global cord-cutting trend. Forcasts suggest that pay TV revenues in Western Europe will decrease for the foreseeable future, and in Eastern Europe, the total number of pay TV households also continues to drop. As of 2021, free-to-air digital terrestrial (FTA DTT) was the most used pay TV technology in the region, although internet protocol television (IPTV) is seeing the most rapid adoption. IPTV is also on track to overtake subscription numbers and pay TV revenues for cable and satellite TV, highlighting the ever-increasing importance of high-speed broadband connections.

Online TV

Europe’s TV landscape is gradually being transformed by the advance of video streaming solutions. Thanks to the ongoing adoption of connected TV (CTV), advancements in digital video delivery, and growing demand for individualized content, viewers in many European countries now opt for non-linear video streaming options. According to a recent survey, online TV is particularly popular in Sweden, with 34 percent of respondents watching it every day. While there are distinct regional differences in the availability and usage of digital video content, there is a visible trend towards VOD content in Europe, and this development is highlighted by Netflix’s ranking as the second-largest television group in Europe.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Television industry in Europe" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Commercial TV & advertising

Public TV

Online TV and SVoD

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 48 most important statistics relating to "Television industry in Europe".

Television industry in Europe

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Television industry in Europe - statistics & facts

Europe’s television landscape is as dynamic and diverse as its population. Over the past few years, revenues of the European TV and home video market have remained stable, and while segments such as advertising took a visible hit due to the onset of the pandemic, television remains one of the leading sources of news and entertainment for millions of people. The number of TV viewers in Europe continues to grow steadily, and despite mounting competition from online streaming services, viewership peaked at 715 million in 2020. But while TV penetration rates keep rising, traditional TV consumption is slowly declining as viewing habits and preferences continuously evolve.

Commercial TV and advertising

Television remains an attractive advertising platform as popular shows or sports events can draw massive audiences to the screen. In 2020, TV ad spend in Western Europe amounted to approximately 24 billion U.S. dollars, and while this figure marked an annual decline of over 12 percent, advertisers are set to refuel expenditures on TV clips in the future. A swift upswing in spending is also forecast for Central and Eastern Europe, which have traditionally only held a small share of the global TV ad market. Overall, the number of TV spots broadcast in Europe now stands at over 113 million.

Public TV

Public or government-funded TV is highly popular throughout Europe. In 2020, the BBC remained the UK’s leading TV broadcaster with an audience share of around 32 percent, and in Norway, viewership for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) even reached 43 percent amid the pandemic. During the past decade, European audience shares for public service TV have generally ranged between 30 to 40 percent, depending on the country.

Pay TV

Pay TV is battling a global cord-cutting trend. Forcasts suggest that pay TV revenues in Western Europe will decrease for the foreseeable future, and in Eastern Europe, the total number of pay TV households also continues to drop. As of 2021, free-to-air digital terrestrial (FTA DTT) was the most used pay TV technology in the region, although internet protocol television (IPTV) is seeing the most rapid adoption. IPTV is also on track to overtake subscription numbers and pay TV revenues for cable and satellite TV, highlighting the ever-increasing importance of high-speed broadband connections.

Online TV

Europe’s TV landscape is gradually being transformed by the advance of video streaming solutions. Thanks to the ongoing adoption of connected TV (CTV), advancements in digital video delivery, and growing demand for individualized content, viewers in many European countries now opt for non-linear video streaming options. According to a recent survey, online TV is particularly popular in Sweden, with 34 percent of respondents watching it every day. While there are distinct regional differences in the availability and usage of digital video content, there is a visible trend towards VOD content in Europe, and this development is highlighted by Netflix’s ranking as the second-largest television group in Europe.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 48 most important statistics relating to "Television industry in Europe".

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