IPTV pay-TV mixed progress

According to InfoCom’s most recent release of its quarterly television monitoring service, IPTV has been making mixed progress in the pay-TV market in countries that generally have a large broadband subscriber base.

While some operators achieved six to seven-figure IPTV subscriber numbers, others were not as successful. In the UK, for instance, despite having significant number of broadband users, take-up of IPTV has been sluggish due to satellite and Freeview’s strong market hold that places the IPTV players at a disadvantage. Tiscali, in particular, has plateaued between 36,000 to 45,000 IPTV subscriptions from 2005 until 1H08. In Germany, Hansenet has been struggling to add subscribers since its IPTV launch in 2006. Telecom Italia and Spain’s Jazztel were also among these providers that have lagged behind in the IPTV race.

On the other hand, in the forefront of the IPTV race is the French incumbent France Telecom, attracting more than 1.5m IPTV customers in 1H08 — more than 90 per cent of which are from its domestic market and the rest, from subsidiaries in Spain and Poland. The French incumbent also has IPTV operations in Slovakia and Senegal but so far, numbers are rather negligible. France Telecom kept its top position from end-2007 to 1H08 and largest IPTV provider.

MII China (comprising of China Telecom and China Netcom), in the 6-month period (end-2007 to 1H08), more than doubled its IPTV subscriber base — the highest increase among all groups.

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