This report analyses new approaches to TV and video distribution. It begins by setting out the changes being ushered in by the growing use of streaming, initially for on-demand video services, and now more and more for linear programming as well. Two other, intertwined disruptions are also explored, namely the growing use of mobile devices for watching video, and social media sites’ ever increasing role in video consumption.

The report then goes on to explore the solutions being designed to meet the demands of this changing environment:

  • Optimise online video traffic, including a cost breakdown for CDN solutions according to the different possible configurations;
  • Leveraging the complementary features of broadcast and broadband networks;
  • Enabling broadcasting networks’ migration to IP, given the growing use of OTT solutions on fixed networks, and adapting radio broadcasting systems to the Internet protocol.

Lastly, the report looks at the impact of these changes on both telcos and media companies. And it concludes with an analysis of their evolving distribution strategies.

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Methodology

3. Growing prominence of streaming video
3.1. User behaviour: increasingly customised viewing
3.2. One consequence: exponential traffic growth
3.3. Streaming on demand, but also live
3.4. Mobile’s growing weight in the equation
3.5. The rise of social media
3.6. Automating the delivery of multiple versions

4. Optimising online video distribution
4.1. CDN developments
4.2. CDN cost simulation
4.3. Bundling or offloading IP video traffic
4.3.1. Adopting ABR multicasting
4.3.2. Offloading

5. New hybrid services: playing to each network’s strength
5.1. Broadcast-broadband or Integrated broadcast-broadband (IBB) configurations
5.2. Enhancing terrestrial and satellite TV services thanks to VoD
5.3. For wireline carriers, creating hybrid solutions with broadcasting means a broader footprint and a richer product line-up
5.4. Where does LTE fit in?
5.4.1. Video outdoors thanks to LTE, and the promises of multicasting
5.4.2. Early days for fixed wireless video access

6. Boosting the transition to IP
6.1. OTT making strides on fixed networks
6.2. Adapting radio broadcasting networks to IP
6.2.1. Terrestrial television: hope being invested in ATSC 3.0
6.2.2. Only slight progress in the shift to IP satellite distribution for video

7. Smart or dumb pipes for telcos and cable companies?
7.1. Rising broadcasting rights could have a sizeable impact
7.2. Is connectivity a smart bet?
7.2.1. Video as the cornerstone of service bundles
7.2.2. Billing for transport
7.2.3. Should mobile play a central role?
7.3. The art of becoming a video distributor
7.3.1. A recent trend: investing in content
7.3.2. Aggregation of TV and video services

8. A new economic equation for media companies
8.1. The environment influencing distribution choices
8.2. New services and business models…
8.3. … involving new, more network-agnostic distribution choices
8.3.1. New TV distribution options for broadcasters
8.3.2. Strengthening partnerships with Internet platforms

List of tables and figures

List of tables and figures

Table 1: Broadcast-broadband hybridisation
Table 2: Examples of broadcast-broadband TV services
Table 3: Examples of recent OTT forays by free to air TV leaders
Table 4: Distribution options depend above all on media companies’ chosen business model

Figure 1: How interested are consumers in the ability to create their own viewing profile?
Figure 2: How interested are consumers in having a customised pay-TV solution?
Figure 3: Percentage of people in the UK who have used one of the most popular VoD services over the past seven days, in 2014 and 2016
Figure 4: Increase in video’s share of total Internet traffic, 2016-2021
Figure 5: Change in the breakdown of video formats used, 2016-2021
Figure 6: Sling TV: an vMVPD service
Figure 7: Internet traffic growth by type of device, 2016-2021
Figure 8: Mobile Internet traffic on smartphones, by category, 2016 and 2022
Figure 9: Number of videos viewed daily on Facebook and Snapchat, worldwide
Figure 10: Proliferation of live streaming services
Figure 11: Automated packaging, streaming and recording operations
Figure 12: Traffic offloading by the Peer5 P2P solution
Figure 13: Distribution costs for different options for traffic of less than 5 Pb/month
Figure 14: Distribution costs for different options for traffic in excess of 5 Pb/month
Figure 15: Average monthly cellular/Wi-Fi video traffic, per user, July 2014 & October 2015
Figure 16: The Freeview Play hybrid broadcast/broadband solution
Figure 17: Examples of telcos’ broadcast-broadband services
Figure 18: KT’s TV subscriber growth (IPTV, satellite and hybrid), 2011 – 2015
Figure 19: AT&T’s zero-rated video services
Figure 20: Deutsche Telekom’s Speedport Hybrid LTE modem
Figure 21: Telecentras: connecting the STB directly to an LTE modem
Figure 22: The Polsat/Polkomtel configuration
Figure 23: Cable companies’ migration to all IP services
Figure 24: Cablevisión Argentina video plan
Figure 25: Deployment of the ATSC 3.0 standard
Figure 26: Eutelsat’s Smart Beam solution
Figure 27: Evolution of Virgin Media’s video revenues and margins
Figure 28: Impact of the paid peering agreement between Netflix and Comcast
Figure 29: Examples of Wi-Fi strategies in the US
Figure 30: Telcos’ and cablecos’ content investments
Figure 31: KPN, content aggregator
Figure 32: Top 10 video streaming applications for Android smartphones (in France, Germany, the UK), September 2015-August 2016
Figure 33: Example of a media company’s digital diversification: ProSiebenSat.1
Figure 34: “NOW TV is clearly differentiated from Sky”
Figure 35: The new Canal+ OTT only offering
Figure 36: The Molotov TV streaming plan
Figure 37: Studio 71 (Pro7, TF1, Mediaset joint venture)
Figure 38: The YouTube TV service, available in the United States

Geographic area



  • Akamai
  • Altice/SFR
  • Amazon
  • Anevia
  • Apple
  • ARD
  • AT&T
  • Bouygues Telecom
  • BT
  • Cablevisión Argentina
  • Canal+
  • CBS
  • CenturyLink
  • Charter
  • Comcast
  • Dailymotion
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • DirecTV/DirectTV Now
  • Discovery
  • Dish Network/SlingTV
  • ESPN Liberty Global KPN
  • Eutelsat
  • Facebook
  • Foxtel
  • Fransat
  • Freeview
  • HBO
  • KPN
  • KT
  • Level 3
  • Liberty Global
  • Limelight
  • Mediaset
  • Molotov TV
  • Netflix
  • Nokia
  • NTV+
  • Orange
  • Peer5
  • Polsat
  • ProSiebenSat.1
  • Rai
  • SKY TV
  • Snapchat
  • TDF
  • Telecentras
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefonica
  • TF1
  • Twitter
  • Varnish
  • Videocon d2h
  • Virgin Media
  • Vodafone Kabel Deutschland
  • YouTube/Google
  • ZDF


Video streaming is more than just an option
Two intertwined disruptions: mobile devices and social media

How TV & video distribution configurations are evolving
Optimising online video distribution
CDN cost simulations for the different configurations
Hybridisation: playing to each network’s strengths
Boosting the transition to IP
Enable networks’ migration to IP: bringing broadcasting networks into an IP world

New economic equations for telcos and media companies
Smart or dumb pipes for telcos and cablecos?
New distribution decisions for media companies

Other details

  • Reference: M17230MRA
  • Delivery: on the DigiWorld Interactive platform
  • Languages available: French, English
  • Tags: broadband TV, broadcast, broadcast broadband, CDN, Integrated broadcast broadband, Internet platforms, online video distribution, OTT, Satellite TV, streaming video, terrestrial TV, VOD

Why trust in IDATE DigiWorld ?

  • Thought leadership: based on outsanding and cross-fertilised ICT expertise
  • Analyst Access: Umetered support on licenced content and customized services
  • Powerfull interactive platform: providing you easily and efficiently our expertise