A record 1 million customers receive TV via optical fibre

There were 3.67 million subscribers to the pay-television service in Portugal as at the end of 2016, 145 thousand more than in the previous year. This represents an increase of 4.1%, driven mainly by offers based on optical fibre with a record 1.057 million subscribers. The record number of optical fibre customers results from an increase of 28.6% in the number of subscribers (an additional 235 thousand subscribers during 2016).

At the end of the year, optical fibre was used by 28.8% of total subscribers (+5.5 percentage points versus 2015) and remained the second most important form of access. Cable remained the primary form of access (36.7% of subscribers), with the number of subscribers remaining in line with 2015 (1.347 million). Meanwhile, the number of xDSL subscribers decreased by 9.5% to 678 thousand, so that xDSL remained the third most popular form of access among the networks supporting the service (18.5%). This technology is followed by DTH (16.1%), which saw a 3% decrease in subscribers versus 2015.

The growth reported in the number of subscribers in 2016 (4.1%) was in line with the average rate of the last five years. Meanwhile, 90.4% of all subscribers are reported as receiving the service as part of a bundle. At the end of 2016, the pay-TV service reported a penetration rate of 90 subscribers per 100 private households (+3.6 percentage points versus 2015).

In terms of the programme offer, about 79.7% of subscribers to the service had access to over 80 channels, while 15.3% of homes had premium channels (-3.3 percentage points versus 2015). The proportion of subscribers who used the different features of the service increased by 6 percentage points over 2016, to 73%. Automatic recordings remain the most used service.

At the end of 2016, according to Marktest’s Barómetro de Telecomunicações (Telecommunications Barometer), 4.1% of individuals aged 10 years or more had subscribed to a service of video streaming on demand (Netflix, Fox Play or Nplay).

In 2016, revenues from the pay-TV service (stand-alone and included in bundled services) were reported at around 1.8 billion euros, increasing by 8.5% versus 2015.

Grupo NOS had the largest share of subscribers (about 43.5%) followed by MEO (38.9%), Vodafone (12.8%) and Nowo (4.7%). Vodafone was the only service provider to increase its share of subscribers (+2.3 percentage points), and was the provider which gained the largest number of subscribers in net terms during 2016.

Consult the statistical report: