NEWS | 15 Aug 2016

Media ownership: towards pan-European TV groups?

Pan-European media groups in the audiovisual field are in focus in a media market report by the European Audiovisual Observatory. Three media groups with important operations on the Nordic market – the Modern Times Group/Viasat, Sanoma, and Discovery Communications – are among the players analysed.

The report focuses on a selection of major media companies operating across a range of countries in Europe, in both the broadcast and the distribution markets.

It outlines some of the key players (nine broadcasting and six distribution groups), their geographical footprint, their position in a range of markets, and their most recent strategies regarding expansion, acquisition and vertical integration. 

Many “brand” broadcasters linked to US majors
Among the pan-European broadcast media groups, one can distinguish between those with a “multi-country” broadcast strategy, providing many free-to-air channels, and those with a more “pan-European” strategy, with well-known channel brands available throughout Europe.

Of the 13 pan-European “brand” broadcasters, nine are linked to the major US television and film production groups.

The three “multi-country” broadcast groups analysed in the report – the Modern Times Group, Central European Media Enterprises, and the RTL group – include the major players (ranking in the top four regarding audience share) in 17 European countries.

Distributors expand their geographical scope
According to the report, national distribution markets have become more concentrated. Alongside consolidation at the national level, the market has seen players expand their geographical scopes and acquire major national players, as well as increased cross-consolidation between telecommunications and cable companies. Today, 15 major pan-European audiovisual distribution groups serve 68% of pay-TV homes in the EU.

Download the report (PDF)

The European Audiovisual Observatory is a European public service body comprised of 40 member states and the European Union, represented by the European Commission. Its mission is to gather and distribute information on the audiovisual industry in Europe. Among its freely accessible services are the MAVISE database on TV and on-demand audiovisual servicers and companies in Europe, the information on which the report above is based. Among its paid-for services is a yearbook online service.