Ziggo takes its time to shut down analogue TV

Thursday 8 March 2018 | 17:19 CET | Market Commentary
Dutch cable operator Ziggo has announced how and when it will shut down its analogue TV service. By ending the provision of analogue TV, the company creates space on its cable network to offer more digital TV services and higher broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps.

At the end of 2017, Ziggo had 550,000 customers that subscribed to analogue-only TV services, which amounts to 14.1 percent of its total TV customers. This compares to 20.6 percent analogue-only when Ziggo and UPC merged in the beginning of 2015. To ensure that customers are not surprised by the analogue switch-off, Ziggo has chosen a gradual approach by region, which is expected to take two years for a complete analogue shutdown. As a replacement for analogue TV service, the operator will provide a small mini decoder with access to 30 unencrypted digital TV channels from its basic package including the Ziggo Sport channel.

By choosing a longer period to shut down analogue TV, there is the risk of competitors like KPN, Canal Digitaal/Online.nl and T-Mobile Thuis targeting Ziggo analogue customers to change to their TV services. Targeting that is maybe even made easier by using the regional approach. 

At the same time, the careful approach could lead to less unrest among existing customers and help ensure analogue-only TV customers moving to Ziggo digital TV services before their region enters the analogue shutdown period to ensure they can continue watching television.

Ziggo has been losing TV customers for years, driven by alternative methods for TV viewing becoming available in the Netherlands, such as satellite TV, DVB-T and IPTV via DSL/fibre networks. In 2016 Ziggo recorded a drop of 2.6 percent, while in 2017 the decrease slowed to minus 1.5 percent, as Ziggo was able to persuade more analogue TV customers to sign up for its digital TV service.

If the longer-term approach to shutting down analogue TV services will lead to an acceleration in the downward trend or to Ziggo losing less TV customers remains to be seen during the coming quarters.

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