Russia’s Tricolor nears 14m subs

Russia’s Tricolor pay-TV operator says it has added 1.2 million net new subscribers this past year and now has more than 10 million residential subscribers, of which 71.4 per cent use its pay-TV service. As a result, Tricolor says it will need more satellite capacity.

Adding in other carriage and cable distribution deals in place, Tricolor reports it now has 13.995 million total subscribers which makes it the largest pay-TV operator in Europe.

Moscow-based Tricolor TV broadcasts from Eutelsat’s satellites at 36 degrees East. Established in 2005, it achieved 150,000 subscribers in its first year and has steadily grown since. In 2010 it launched its Internet-based service. In 2009 it was bought by conglomerate Gazprom which resulted in the NTV Plus channels being available on Tricolor’s platform.

Sergey Stavropoltsev, commercial director, Tricolor TV, says that its current operations use 16 transponders for broadcasting over the European portion of its market and another 6 for additional broadcasting over its Siberian and East Russia beams. Stavropoltsev says that he sees this demand rising considerably over the next few years, rising three-fold by the end of 2017 starting with expansion next year into the Far East market, and beaming programming from a new satellite at 140 degrees East.

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