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Spain pay-TV: Subs up, revenues down

April 4, 2011

From David Del Valle in Madrid

Spain’s pay television sector has more and more subscribers who pay less and less. Year on year in 2o10 pay-TV gained 218,830 subscribers, up 5.36 per cent, to 4,296,434 according to the latest report from the CMT, the Telecommunications Market Commission.

Pay DTT, with a 127 per cent growth from 153,151 subscribers in 2009 to 347,662 in 2010, and IPTV, up 6.98 per cent from 798,642 to 854,466 clients, led the growth in the pay-TV market. Cable increased subs 3.23 per cent to 1,321,450 whereas satellite was down 3.96 per cent to 1,772,856 subscribers.

By companies, Prisa TV, owner of digital DTH platform Digital Plus, is the global pay-TV leader with those 1,772,856 subscribers, an average market share of 41.3 per cent. Cable company ONO is second with 960,198, a market share of 22.3 per cent, followed by Telefonica’s IPTV service Movistar Imagenio with 784,174, 18.3 per cent of the market. As of December 2010, Pay DTT channel Gol TV had 346,712 subscribers, 8.1 per cent of the total pay-TV market; local cable company Telecable 139,117 (3.2 per cent of market share); Basque Country-based cable Euskaltel 129,733 (3.0 per cent of market share); R, 92,402 (2.2 per cent); and Orange IPTV service, 70,291 (1.6 per cent).

Mobile TV –Movistar, Vodafone and Orange- were also up from 346,528 subscribers to 515,759 clients as of December 2010. Movistar leads the market with 421,539 subscribers, a market share of 81.7 per cent, followed by Vodafone with 62,991 (12.2 per cent) and Orange, 31,229 (6.1 per cent).

But, the increase in the number of subscribers has not been mirrored in the total revenues generated by the whole pay TV market. ARPU is down with subscribers buying fewer and fewer PPV events. In the last quarter of 2010, companies pay-TV made €349.76 million revenues, down 0.51 per cent in comparison with the same quarter in 2009 with €351.57 million. A total of 3,191,819 PPV services were bought in the last quarter against 3,417,151 in the same quarter in 2009 with revenues going down 36 per cent from €23.69 million in the last quarter of 2009 to €15.19 million in the last quarter of 2010.

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