Universal access to digital TV in Europe remains a long way off, judging by research from Zenith Media which suggests that only one-third of European households will have access to the medium by the end of the decade.

Studying 29 countries, the TV in Europe 2010 report concludes that consumers want more than technology alone, with pay-TV firms needing to offer a wide choice of programming and subsidies on decoders to be successful. Government cash will probably also be needed to make universal access a reality.

Although the increased number of channels will pull viewers away from mainstream terrestrial broadcasters, the latter should not suffer a catastrophic decline in ad revenues, since advertisers will still value the (albeit diminished) mass audiences such stations can attract.

Zenith also forecast that despite the current slowdown in TV ad growth – to the lowest level ever recorded – adspend should increase at a rate near 4% in the long term.

News source: Media Week (UK)