As at the end of March, the services of subscription television which use cable and satellite technologies registered around 2 million users in Portugal, representing around 18.8 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Of these two million users, 75 per cent were customers of the cable distribution service – almost 1.5 million customers – while Direct To Home (DTH) technology had half a million users.
With respect to the cable television service, in the first quarter, the total number of cabled households for all operators was 4.13 million, 91'000 more households than in the previous quarter. This is the largest increase, in absolute terms, since December 2002. This jump was however partly due to the revision by ICP-ANACOM of the values given previously for cabled households.
Between January and March, the number of subscribers to the cable television service grew by around 0.5 per cent or by seven thousand subscribers, reaching a total of 1.497 million subscribers. Year-on-year there was an increase of around 4.1 per cent, representing the addition of around 59 thousand new subscribers. This increase in the number of subscribers is due to the significant growth seen in the North region where 16 thousand new subscribers were recorded in comparison to the first quarter of 2007.
The subscriber penetration rate, calculated in terms of cabled households fell to around 39 per cent, as the increase in cabled households outstripped subscriber growth.
Regarding the television distribution service using Direct To Home (DTH) technology, there were half a million subscribers at the end of March, 3.3 per cent more than in the previous quarter and 12.5 per cent more than in the same quarter of 2007. In absolute terms, this translates to 16 thousand more subscribers during the quarter, more than double the number of new cable subscribers.