From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The number of pay-TV subscribers in Portugal increased 10.6 per cent in the 4Q 2009 to over 2.5 million or 45 per cent of total households, according to data released by the country's telecommunications regulator Anacom.
The figure includes all platforms (cable, DTH, fibre and other technologies) and represents a growth of 85,000 subscribers on the previous quarter and of 243,000 on the same period last year.
At the end of 2009, cable TV accounted for 57 per cent of all pay-TV subscribers â€“ down 2 percentage points than the previous quarter – while the share of “other technologies” grew by 1.3 percentage points to 16 per cent of the total. DTH had a 26 per cent market share and fibre optic now represents 1.2 per cent.
The total number of cabled households stood at 4.3 million, 0.6 per cent more than in the previous quarter and up 2.1 per cent compared to same period last year. The growth was mainly due to the expansion of Zon TV Cabo network especially in the North, the Azores and Lisbon.
The Zon/TV Cabo Group saw a 2.2 percentage point drop in its market share to 64.4 per cent. Portugal Telecom is still second with 23 per cent, followed by CabovisÃ£o with 10.2 per cent.
Anacom estimates that there were about 1.2 million homes passed with fibre optics, although the number of pay-TV subscribers whose service is based on fibre totalled 31.000, which is more than double the previous year.