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Greek pay-TV tax kills growth

Last year in June Greece slapped a special tax on pay-TV subscriptions. In essence the tax placed an extra 10 per cent on the existing combined subscription fee plus the VAT already in place.

The much-criticised levy (although every tax in Greece gets widespread criticism) has seemingly put a complete halt on pay-TV growth in the country.

For example, the two main service providers, OTE (supplied by publicly-owned telco Cosmote) and rival TV Nova (from telco Forthnet) saw combined net growth of just 2000 subscribers for 2016, when the annual rise for 2015 had been 79,000 and in 2014 some 153,000 new subs signed up.

Most observers see plenty of potential headroom for pay-TV to grow in Greece, where penetration is just 24 per cent. However, the tough economic downturn and recession is inevitably having an impact. Another negative influence on growth during 2016 was the widespread anticipation of the tax’s introduction earlier last year.

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