20% of new paid television customers use fibre

The total number of subscribers to the subscription TV service grew in the first quarter of this year, reaching 2.6 million, up 69 thousand from the previous quarter and around 277 thousand more than in the first quarter of 2009. The main drivers of the service’s growth continue to be, in the first instance, ''other technologies'' of access (IPTV and similar) and DTH, with the FTTH/B platform starting to take on importance, representing 20% of new customers.

In March, it was reported that the cable TV distribution service comprised around 55.7% of all subscription TV subscribers - down 2 percentage points on the previous quarter, while the weight of ''other technologies'' and FTTH/B grew by 2 percentage points to represent around 17 percent and 2 percent of the total respectively. The weight of DTH fell to around 25 per cent of all subscribers.

The penetration rate reported for subscription TV subscribers with respect to households continues to increase, reaching 47 per every 100 households. Using the number of classic family households as estimated by INE (Statistics Portugal) for 2009 as a denominator, the penetration of the subscription TV subscribers per classic family household is reported at 66 per 100 families.

Grupo ZON/TV Cabo continued to have the largest share of subscription TV subscribers (62.5 per cent, 1.9 percentage points less than in the previous quarter). PTC remains the second largest subscription TV operator with a 25 per cent share of subscribers, increasing its share by 1.9 points over the previous quarter. The third largest operator continues to be Cabovisão, with a share of 10 per cent.

In first quarter of 2010, individualised revenues from the STVS totalled around 165 million euros, an increase of 3 percent over first quarter of 2009. Of this total, around 64 percent refer to cable customers, 27 per cent to satellite customers and 9 per cent to customers using other technologies.

These revenues are derived from stand-alone offers or multiple play offers where the television component can be individualised.
As far as revenues which cannot be individualised are concerned, derived from packages of services which include subscription TV, these totalled 44 million euros, rising by 78 percent compared to first quarter of 2009 and referring essentially to triple play packages associated with IPTV and similar technologies.

Making an analysis by technology type, the total number of cabled households for all operators stood at around 4 million, 0.4 per cent more than in the previous quarter and 5 per cent less than recorded for the same period in 2009. The reduction reported in the number of cabled households over the same period of 2009 results from the elimination of duplicate reporting of cabled households following the takeover of Bragatel, PLURICANAL LEIRIA, PLURICANAL SANTARÉM and of TVTel by ZON TV Cabo.

In first quarter of 2010, there was practically no change seen in the total number of subscribers (1.45 million), compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the first quarter of 2009, the number of subscribers saw a decline of 0.7 percent. In certain cases, this reduction may stem from substitution between platforms of access to the service.

The main alternative TV cable operator remained responsible for the reported decline on a year-on-year basis.

The number of subscribers to the cable distribution service benefiting from digital formats continued to rise. There were around 876 thousand digital subscribers, corresponding to over 60 per cent of all subscribers to the service.

There are now 4 operators providing the subscription television service over the public telephone network and using FWA, Sonaecom, PTC, Vodafone and AR Telecom (FWA), with around 4538 thousand users reported, which is 37 thousand (9.3 percent) more than in the previous quarter. In comparison to the first quarter of 2009, around 159 thousand new subscribers are reported (+ 57 percent).  PTC was the main driver of this increase, especially in the Lisbon, North and Centre regions.