Report: Almost 300 news channels currently available in Europe

The European Audiovisual Observatory has just published a new report on the TV news market in Europe (covering 38 countries). The entire 100-page report is free to download.

The report, carried out as part of the work commissioned by the DG Communication of the European Commission, sources data from the Observatory's MAVISE TV database as well as from a range of recent studies by national organisations such as the ALM, CNC, and OFCOM.

The Strasbourg-based Observatory counts 214 channels based in Europe (171 in EU28 plus a further 33 from the candidate countries, Switzerland, Norway and Russia). A further 80 or so channels broadcast from other parts of Europe, from the US, Africa, Asia, or the Middle East.

Of the 214 Europe-based channels, approximately 110 are national news channels, around 60 have a pan-European or global/international remit and 46 are the Europe By Satellite channels (provided by the audiovisual services of the European Union).

From a total of 105 national news channels counted by the Observatory, 84 are privately owned whilst 21 are public. There are some exceptions to this otherwise clear market dominance: Spain has three public news channels; The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Switzerland only have public news channels.

However TV news channel closures are also increasing, so the report. In the last five to six years more than 25 news channels have closed down. Several of these were developed specifically for mobile phone broadcast (3G or DVB-H). Broadcasters are now concentrating more on developing news apps for smartphones rather than providing their news as part of mobile TV packages. Recent significant closures include Greek news channel NET TV, CNN+ targeting Spain, Current TV and the Slovenian private news channel Info TV.

In general the Observatory reports the increased distribution opportunities for television news offered by new platforms such as DTT, and digital cable and satellite networks as well as ADSL (IPTV). The report also looks at industry data regarding developments in online viewer habits and the impact on news. An overview of news APPS for Smartphone and Smart TV is also provided.

It is important to note that despite the increased capacity on digital platforms, news channels are competing with a boom in other types of channels, in particular HD simulcasts that are competing for space on the distribution networks.

The report does note a major increase since 2009 in the availability of television new channels over free DTT networks. 16 news channels were available on the free to air networks in Europe in 2009. This increased to 43 in October 2013.

DTG Staff  |  14.11.2013

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