Spain: Pay-TV more profitable than FTA

Despite the sharp fall in the number of subscribers (down 8 per cent in 2012), pay-TV companies are performing better than free-to-air (FTA) channels in terms of revenues.

Total revenues in pay-TV grew by 3 per cent in 2012 against a 15 per cent decrease in FTA channels in 2012, according to UTECA, the private TVs Association. The main reason behind this is that pay-TV channels managed to increase the ARPU whereas FTA channels saw their ad revenues fall by 18 per cent.

Pay-TV companies’ operation costs increased by 3 per cent to €1,174 million due to a higher cost in programmes, up 8 per cent, and the rise in the price of football pay-TV rights. FTA channels reduced their operating costs by 7 per cent, mainly due to the mergers, such as the one between Antena 3 and La Sexta.

Canal Plus is the pay-TV market leader with a market share of 41.5 per cent, up 3 per cent than the previous year. This company has also seen a 6 per cent increase in its market share in terms of ARPU going from 55 per cent in 2011 to 61 per cent in 2012, with an ARPU of €44.2.

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