Spain: DTT and IPTV boom causes satellite freefall

Contrary to the rest of Europe, Spaniards mainly watch TV via DTT. This – combined with an increasing demand for IPTV – is putting satellite and cable TV in freefall.

A report from SES Astra reveals that 60 per cent of Spanish viewers watch TV via DTT versus 26 per cent on average in the rest of Europe. IPTV is gaining momentum in the country with a penetration rate of 22 per cent versus 14 per cent in the rest of Europe. Satellite (10 per cent) and cable (8 per cent) are losing viewers in contrast to the rest of Europe where satellite is the dominant TV distribution system with 35 per cent, followed by cable and DTT with 26 per cent each.

According to SES Astra, around 6.8 million homes watch TV via DTT; 3.3 million through IPTV; 1.2 million via satellite and 0.7 million via cable.

The General Director of SES Astra in Spain, Luis Sahún, commented: “There is a clear erosion of the satellite transmission but our reports point out that our users are satisfied with our HD offer”.

In his opinion, satellite is likely to grow again with the develop of HD and UHD. UHD-ready homes have risen from 3 per cent in 2014 to 7 per cent (1.3 million homes) in 2016.

Movistar’s IPTV service, with 3 million subscribers, is not helping satellite expectations, even though the pay TV platform still has 900,000 satellite subscribers.

Sahún also complains that the lack of neutrality from the Government in supporting DTT technology is to the detriment of satellite. Nevertheless, Sahún is confident that satellite will play an important role in the market to cover those isolated areas where DTT is not present.

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