Sogecable losses 10,000 subscribers in football war

From David Del Valle in Madrid

The dispute over football TV rights between Sogecable and Mediapro has led the largest pay-TV group to lose 10,000 subscribers in the third quarter of the year. Nonetheless this was a net of 40,000 more than a year ago reaching a total of 2.046 million. The company is also seeing a drop in the ARPU, from E 45.7 as of June 30 to E41.4 by the end of September, although in line with the ARPU in the third quarter of the previous year.

Nevertheless, Sogecable has managed to return to profit with a net benefit of E50.3 million in the first nine months of the year, compared to a E25.9 million loss for the same period in 2006. Sogecable’s digital DTH platform Digital+ churn was slightly up at 11 per cent on September 30, compared to 11.7 a year ago.

Sogecable announced that the advertising revenue rose 34 per cent in the third quarter to E51.5 million helped by rising audiences at its free-to-view channel Cuatro which raked in a 39 per cent rise in advertising revenue to E46.2 million.

The pay-TV group plans to launch, along with Telefonica, its Trio Plus package from the 1st of December, offering the triple play in an attempt to boost subscriptions and increase its penetration rate in the market.

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