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13 September 2018

Netherlands pay TV close to monopoly says local researcher

Dutch researcher Telecompaper this week provides an updated view of the Dutch pay TV market which puts fresh numbers on the rival operators VodafoneZiggo and KPN, and which certainly supports our belief that UPC and Ziggo should never have been allowed to merge. It makes the point that Ziggo and KPN have 84% of the pay TV market, on rising revenues but falling market share with VodafoneZiggo on over 52%.

There is no mention of broadband, but our own calculations would have KPN at 2.2 million broadband homes, and VodafoneZiggo at 3.3 million, giving them around 76% jointly, with VodafoneZiggo on 45.6%.

Clearly the two mergers of UPC with Ziggo and then Vodafone with the combined companies, have created a market leader in multiple operator categories – not something usually allowed by the European Commission under its competition policy.

The Dutch TV market contracted slightly in Q2 said Telecompaper to 7.45 million subscribers with only IPTV showing growth, and cable, satellite and DTT losing customers, with subscription TV revenues coming out at €464 million for the quarter, €1.85 billion for the year, which will rise through 2020 and then begin to fall.

Cable held 55.9% of connections, IPTV over DSL had 21% and fiber was third with a 15.8% share, with both satellite and DTT on under 5%.

It says that this year analog TV will be shut off on cable and this will create more of a subscriber slide in cable.

Other TV providers in the market include M7, which provides satellite and online TV, which has 4.5% and Canal Digitaal and cable firms Delta and Caiway, owned by EQT, for a combined share of 4.4%. Finally T-Mobile and Tele2 own 4.2% of the Dutch TV market.