Smart TVs need NPO, RTL, SBS before TV subscription canceled

Tuesday 6 January 2015 | 15:25 CET | Background

The percentage of Dutch households with smart TVs continue to increase, going from 22 percent in December 2013 to 28 percent in Q3 2014. More streaming video services are also available, including OTT players Netflix, Pathe and Videoland, as well as services from broadcasters such as NPO (Uitzending Gemist), RTL (RTL XL) and SBS (Kijk).

The offering from broadcasters is still not complete on smart TV platforms, nor are all channels available on smart TVs. If the complete channels were available on smart TVs, consumers would in principle no longer need a subscription from TV providers, such as KPN, UPC and Ziggo. In anticipation of this, Telecompaper asked its Consumer Panel which channels consumers would like available via smart TV apps before they would consider ending their TV subscription. Respondents could give multiple answers.

Most consumers want the most popular channels available: the public broadcaster NPO (NPO 1, 2 and 3) and commercial broadcasters RTL (RTL 4, 5, 7 and 8) and SBS (SBS 6, Net 5 and Veronica). In the third quarter, respectively 79, 77 and 69 percent of Dutch consumers said they would need to receive these channels on the smart TV before they canceled their TV subscription. The channels Discovery, Animal Planet and National Geographic followed at a distance at 49 percent, and the Belgian, German, French and British public channels were next with 28 percent. The trio Nickelodeon, Disney and Kindernet were named by 20 percent, and the sport channels Sport1 and Eurosport and premium channel HBO each received 19 percent.

Men and women

Men and women had different channel preferences. Women were more likely to want the RTL channels, at 80 percent versus 75 percent for men. Women also named the SBS channels more often, at 72 percent versus 67 percent of men. Men were more likely to prefer Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and National Geographic (52% vs 45% of women), Sport1 and Eurosport (24% vs 13%) and the Belgian, German, French and British channels (31% vs 25%).

Single people living on their own were less interested in Sport1 and Eurosport, at 12 percent versus 19 percent of the total market, as well as Nickelodeon, Disney and Kindernet (14% vs 20% of market). People living together without children were not as interested in HBO (15% vs 19% of market), but had a greater preference for the foreign channels (36% vs 28%). The foreign channels were of less interest to couples with children (23%), while this group was more interested in the channels Nickelodeon, Disney and Kindernet via a smart TV app (30% vs 20%).


Retired people were the most likely to say they want the NPO channels on a smart TV app before they would give up their TV subscription, at 91 percent compared to 79 percent of the total market. This group was less interested in HBO (10%). Young people and students named the NPO less often, at 69 percent, but were more interested in HBO than average, at 30 percent. Young people were the least interested in the foreign channels, while retired people were the most interested, at 47 percent versus 28 percent of the total market.

Based on these results, it appears the availability of a few channels over smart TV apps is not enough for a large number of Dutch consumers to give up their TV subscriptions. The channel preferences among consumers remain too diverse for this. 

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Panel. The survey was conducted in the third quarter of 2014 (n=2,105). The question posed was the following: Which channels would you need to receive via apps on your smart TV before you would cancel your TV subscription? Multiple answers possible. Panel members were aged 12 to 80 years old, and results are stratified according to age, gender and education. For more information about research opportunities with our panel, please contact research@telecompaper.com.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

::: add a comment