According to Dataxis’ latest research, the linear OTT Pay TV market in Europe reached 7.4 million subscribers at the end of September 2017. This represents a growth of 13% compared to the previous quarter. Over the past few years, the number of Linear OTT offers has been increasing, driven by the introduction of specialised sports and childrens’ content.
OTT sports platforms, such as Bein Sport Connect, Eleven Sports or Dazn, have managed to attract a significant number of sports fans, which represent around 25% of total Linear OTT subscribers as of the third quarter of 2017.
Western European countries are leading the OTT sports market, with Germany at 35%, France with 25% and the UK on 15%. As sports events are a key driver to TV subscriptions, it remains to be seen whether this growth will continue at the expense of the traditional Pay TV offer.
The big change in this linear business is the announcement by Sky that it will make its full service available online, including the very important Sky Sports channels which have access to Premiere League soccer. Sky in the UK and Ireland has around 10 million subscribers and the potential for a move away from satellite is significant. (Sky Announces Move to Online, Dish-Free Model)