Pay TV market in Poland remains stable

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:

The pay television market in Poland is characterised by a clear trend to stabilise, in terms of both its volume and the generated revenue. In the medium term (two or three years) the position of traditional services in Poland will not be threatened.

The pay television market in Poland is a fully mature market. According to PMR’s estimates published in its report “Pay TV market in Poland 2017. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2017-2022” the penetration of those services in households (with at least one person aged 16-74) is somewhat under 70%.

According to PMR’s data, in 2016 the number of pay TV subscribers in Poland fluctuated, like in the preceding year, around 10 million, while the market value arrived at PLN 6bn, representing a slight decrease compared to the previous year. The stable situation of the pay TV market is largely an effect of service bundling which prevents customers from migrating on a greater scale away from the suppliers of paid services. The market has also already gone through the experience of users switching to digital terrestrial television solutions. The key trend noticeable on the market now is competition on content – the prices are already quite uniform so the operators seek to attract customers with the content of their television bundles. This is analogous to the competition on bandwidth on the market of broadband internet access where players strive to offer more for the same or a somewhat higher price.

Additionally, with a view to attaching users to themselves, the suppliers develop their own VOD platforms and provide customers with online access to selected channels or content, also on mobile devices. In Poland VOD services are still perceived as a supplement to the basic linear offering. Most Polish internet users watch video and multimedia online but VOD is used by a small share of Poles, especially on a post-paid basis. A survey conducted by PMR at the beginning of 2017 on 1,000 respondents in Poland found that VOD services were used by fewer than 10% households, with most of them reaching for on-demand content once a month or less often. Despite the greater activity on the part of the suppliers noticeable on this market, in our opinion even in the medium term this trend will not change significantly.

PMR's current forecasts for the years 2017-2022 indicate that the trends noticeable on the market in the recent period will continue. The most likely scenario is further market contraction, although the compound annual change, in terms of both volume and value, will be 0.5% which, in the context of market evolution, should be interpreted as a stable situation for the present market players. In the coming years the market value may be seriously affected by an amendment of the Act on television licence fees. If the proposed modifications enter into force, the requirement to pay the television licence fee may persuade some households to give up on pay TV services and exert pressure on the operators’ ARPU. The whole market will continue to suffer because of online piracy, including the development of illegal streaming services. 

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:
Pay TV market in Poland 2017. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2017-2022