Digital TV growing fast in Netherlands

Three quarters of Dutch TV connections are now digital, following a 4.2 percent increase to 5.97 million during the third quarter of 2011, according to Telecompaper's quarterly Dutch Television Subscribers report. This figure includes 3.37 million cable TV subscribers that have an analogue TV connection as well.

Ziggo was the largest digital TV provider, gaining slight market share, followed by KPN, UPC and CanalDigitaal. Cable TV accounts for 57 percent of digital TV connections in the Netherlands, increasing during the quarter, with IPTV over DSL and FTTH also both gaining. Terrestrial and satellite, ranked second and third respectively, both lost market share.

Telecompaper expects this rate of increase in digital TV connections to continue during the fourth quarter, bringing the total rise for 2011 to 13 percent, compared with 15 percent in 2010. This rate is likely to continue during 2012 since nearly half of Dutch TV subscribers are still analogue, and operators are moving to drive forward conversion through various initiatives.

For example Liberty Global launched its hybrid set top box called Horizon at the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam in Sept. 2011, enabling subscribers to access Internet content alongside scheduled services. This is likely to be restricted to digital customers only.