Competition heats up in Spain’s pay-TV market

Competition in the Spanish pay-TV market is intensifying with the launch on Tuesday of a new pay-TV platform, Starmax HD, the first pay-as-you-go DTH service in the country.

The new platform, distributed via satellite Hispasat 1E, will compete head-to-head with Digital Plus, with 1.8 million subscribers; pay-TV cable companies such as ONO, with 953,000 clients; IPTV networks like Imagenio, with around 800,000 clients, and Orange TV, with around 100,000 subscribers; and pay DTT channels Gol TV, AXN and Canal Plus Dos.

The launch of Starmax HD -with channels such as Discovery World, Eurosport and MGM, all in HD and some other like BBC Entertainment, FilmBox, FilmBox EspaƱa, KidsCo, CTK, XTRM, SOMOS and Natura- comes at a time when the pay-TV market is again growing with a current penetration of almost 22 per cent.

The latest report from the Spanish State Secretary of Telecommunications reveals that as of September 2010 3.7 million homes are enjoying pay-TV services, with IPTV leading the growth with 325,000 new homes. Spanish homes spend an average of E30.1 a month on pay-TV services, with a total investment until September of E284 million in pay-TV in the country. Satellite pay-TV took the lion’s share of that investment, representing 59.5 per cent, followed by cable (25.4 per cent) and IPTV (15 per cent).

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