The internet has dealt a double blow to public service media (PSM) – smaller audiences and the relevance of their mission under scrutiny now that content and information is so abundant – which raises internal and external questions about what their future holds.

This report provides an overview of:
– The place and missions of public service media in the audiovisual landscape
– Their offerings on the various distribution channels
– How public broadcasters are responding to the current challenges they face
– How their strategies can adapt to future challenges

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary
1.1. Key findings
1.2. Recommendations

2. General methodology

3. Context and environment
3.1. The role played by public services in the current ecosystem
3.2. The traditional missions of public service media
3.3. Public service media under scrutiny

4. The coping strategies of public service media groups
4.1. Comparison of public broadcaster positioning
4.1.1. Germany: ARD and ZDF
4.1.2. United Kingdom: the BBC
4.1.3. France: France Télévisions
4.1.4. Italy: RAI
4.1.5. Spain: RTVE
4.1.6. Summary
4.2. Comparison of major strategic approaches
4.2.1. Closing down TV channels in favour of OTT services
4.2.2. New internal TV-radio-internet synergies
4.2.3. Cooperation in OTT among private groups
4.2.4. Cooperation between public groups on an international scale
4.2.5. Summary

5. What does the future hold for public broadcasters?
5.1. Public broadcasters in our Future TV scenarios
5.1.1. The four Future TV scenarios
5.1.2. Syndication, the most favourable scenario for traditional media groups
5.1.3. Public service media preparing to make this favourable scenario a reality
5.2. New momentum for public broadcasters?

List of tables and figures

List of tables and figures

Table 1: Comparison of economic and audience indicators
Table 2: Public broadcaster offerings in the five major European markets
Table 3: Internet visitors comparison

Figure 1: Origin of public service media resources, by country, 2017
Figure 2: Share of public funding in the total funding of major public broadcasters worldwide
Figure 3: Breakdown of TV revenues worldwide, 2018
Figure 4: Breakdown of TV revenues in a selection of countries, 2017
Figure 5: Public service TV audience share in France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, 2017
Figure 6: Audience share of the leading channels of the main broadcasting groups in France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, 2017
Figure 7: Audiences of the main TV channels and media groups in Spain, 2017
Figure 8: Public broadcaster ranking in the top 25 European media groups (by turnover in 2017)
Figure 9: Combined turnover of the top 50 public and private media groups in Europe, 2012-2017
Figure 10: Public broadcaster revenues in the major western markets (EU5, United States, Japan), 2012-2017
Figure 11: Average annual growth rate of total revenues of the major European public broadcasters
Figure 12: The missions of major public broadcasters
Figure 13: Number of TV channels available per country in Europe, 2017
Figure 14: Public satisfaction with programming offered by public service media
Figure 15: Average age of viewers and of the population between 2005 and 2015
Figure 16: Percentage of millennials and 50-64 age group among viewers and total population in Spain
Figure 17: Ranking of French channels according to average viewer age, 2015
Figure 18: Average viewer age of the main UK channels, 2017
Figure 19: Top 20 most watched channels in Spain among millennials and the 50-64 age group
Figure 20: Average public spending per TV household, 2017
Figure 21: Major public-private OTT collaborations
Figure 22: Major strategic directions of European public service media
Figure 23: Overview of the four Future TV scenarios
Figure 24: Audiovisual landscape in 2025 with the Syndication scenario
Figure 25: SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)

Geographic area

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain


  • ARD
  • BBC
  • France Télévisions
  • RAI
  • RTVE
  • ZDF

Other details

  • Reference: M18260MRA
  • Delivery: on the DigiWorld Interactive platform
  • Languages available: French, English
  • Tags: OTT, public broadcaster, public broadcasting, Public Service Media, TV channel

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