OECD Mobile Voice

Pay TV Prices in OECD Countries, November 2016




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Report Summary:

This report uses price data from November 2016, and is an update to the previous reports based on price data from May 2015, November 2015 and May 2016.

Television is a key element in the information society, and can be regarded as one of the most basic services offered to households in any country. While more or less free offers exist in most countries to view a limited amount of basic TV channels, most households will opt for more advanced services incorporating more variety of TV programming and extended technical capabilities. For such services the consumers normally need to turn to the Pay TV providers and buy services delivered to their home via cable- or satellite-based systems. There is however an increasing base of consumers “cutting the cord”, which is using mobile or internet based services to support their TV needs, and this trend is helping to shake up an already competitive market.

The Pay TV services offered by different providers may vary a lot. There are also great differences in the services offered in different countries. This report aims to compare the costs of the most basic services offered in a range of countries (31 of the 35 OECD[1] countries). While most providers will offer a wide range of services, with an extensive choice of channel options and technical capabilities, this report focusses on the most basic offers without requirements for any premium channels or any advanced technical capabilities. Some providers may, however, only offer packages that include some such capabilities, and these are then also included.

The result of this analysis carried out in November 2016, is based on 1883 offers across the 31 countries, and shows that there are great differences in costs facing consumers across the study countries. The ten countries with best prices are Poland, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Austria, Denmark, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Mexico. The prices in these countries range from US$ 5.29 per month to US$14.52 per month. The simple average across all 31 countries in November 2016 is US$ 21.41. Since May 2016, the average cost, based on the cheapest overall offer per country, has increased by +5.4%. Most of this increase has been driven by the cheapest offer in Switzerland in May 2016 no longer being available.  The average of the cheapest offers from all providers in each country was stable with a small decline of -0.2%.

There was an increase of overall promotional activity in November 2016 with 44% of offers being promoted as opposed to 40% in May 2016 however these promotions didn’t affect the cheapest offers as much as they did in May.   Furthermore, the average promotional value amongst the cheapest basic Pay TV packages was higher in May than in November.


[1] OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) is used here to indicate the geographical scope of the study. The OECD has not contributed to this report.



Table of Contents

1.       Executive Summary

2.       PAY TV prices in OECD countries

2.1     Scope of data

2.2     Methodology

2.3     Definitions

2.3.1       TV Licence

2.3.2       Service type

2.3.3       HD and DVR

2.3.4       Channels

2.3.5       Bundles

3.       Pay TV cost overview

3.1.1       Basic Pay TV cheapest package per country

3.1.2       Price changes between May 2016 and November 2016

4.            Pay TV costs per country

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