According to the tenth edition of the "Eastern European TV Report," from Informa Telecoms & Media, Central and Eastern European television providers are making major investments in digital upgrades. In fact, 32 million of the region’s homes will receive digital signals by the end of 2011 — more than five times the 2005 figure.
"The region is on the cusp of a significant move into digital," said Adam Thomas of Informa, and author of the report. As one network digitizes, that encourages its competitors to do the same.
Although at the end of 2005 Russia lagged behind Poland in terms of digital TV subscriber numbers, the giant is on track to become the region’s unchallenged digital leader over the next five years.
"An increasing segment of the Russian population can afford premium TV services, meaning it is well placed to establish itself as the region’s digital powerhouse," said mr. Thomas. "While many Russians remain happy to receive free-to-air broadcasts, the increasing number of platforms offering programming choice is starting to stimulate the market."
Overall, digital penetration is expected to exceed 23% of the region’s TV households by 2011.
In addition to cable digital-TV activity, satellite services in the region are upgrading to digital while, with several launches in the pipeline, IPTV is also looking to emerge as a credible alternative platform.