Fibre already represents half of new subscription TV customers

/ Updated on 14.09.2010

The total number of subscribers to the subscription television services (STS) continued to grow in the second quarter of 2010 (2Q2010), reaching 2.7 million, almost 54 thousand more than in the previous quarter and 279 thousand more than in the same period of 2009. The main drivers of the service’s growth have been the “other technologies” of access (IPTV and similar) and the TV service over optical fibre (FTTH/FTTB). It is noted that this figure includes the services provided pursuant to the protocol agreed between the Government of the Republic, the Regional Governments, ICP-ANACOM and a television distribution network operator currently operating in each of these two regions. The service provided pursuant to these protocols covered around 41.3 thousand households in 2nd Quarter 2010.

The “other technologies” of access (IPTV and similar) totalled around 470 thousand subscribers as at the end of 2nd Quarter 2010, 32 thousand more than in the previous quarter, whereas the number of customers of the subscription TV over optical fibre (FTTH/B) amounted to 84 thousand, accounting for around 50 percent of new customers (in net terms).

However, the main forms of access remain  cable TV networks and Satellite (DTH).

The penetration rate reported for subscription TV subscribers with respect to households was reported at 46 per every 100 households – although it should be taken into account that the number of classic family households may include households which are not permanently occupied, including second homes. This effect is of particularly note in specific geographic regions (for example in the Algarve).  The penetration rate reported for these services continues to be above average in the Autonomous Regions and in Lisbon, and exceeds a third of all households in all regions.

The number of cable TV subscribers fell by 0.5 percent over the previous quarter, but still comprised around 54 per cent of all subscription TV subscribers. In the case of DTH, subscriber numbers grew by 0.5 percent in 2Q10, so that this technology represented 25 percent of all customers.

Despite the decline in the number of cable customers, the number of subscribers benefiting from digital formats continued to rise.  There are now around 965 thousand digital subscribers, corresponding to over 67 per cent of all CDS subscribers. It is noted that in Madeira, digital subscribers make up close to 80 percent of the total.

Grupo ZON/TV Cabo continued to have the largest share of subscription TV subscribers (60.8 percent). PT Comunicações remains the second largest subscription TV operator with a 26.5 per cent share of subscribers, increasing its share by 1.6 points over the previous quarter. The third largest operator continues to be Cabovisão, with a share of 10 per cent.

In the first half of 2010, individualised revenues from the subscription television service totalled around 335 million euros, an increase of 3.5 percent over the first half of 2009.

As far as non-separable revenues are concerned, derived from packages of services which include subscription TV, these totalled 94 million euros, rising by 74 percent compared to the first half of 2009. These revenues refer essentially to triple play packages associated with IPTV and similar technologies.