The closure of nine DTT channels and the forthcoming migration to other frequencies as a result of the digital dividend will drastically change the face of the DTT map and the correlation of players in Spain’s TV market.
With an diluted DTT offer (from 24 to 15 DTT channels), pay-TV could benefit and emerge as the best option to access a wider TV offer at a competitive price.
Currently, all pay TV operators – Canal Plus, Movistar TV, Orange TV, ONO – are launching attractive pay-TV offers to capture subscribers at budget prices. For example, Telefonica is marketing its Movistar Fusion TV package with broadband Internet access, telephony and 80 TV channels for €60 a month.
Pay-TV penetration is very low in Spain, in comparison with other European countries, at around 23 per cent. At the end of the year, there were 3,774,777 pay-TV subs, according to CMNC, with Telefonica’s Movistar TV service (670,525 subscribers) and Orange TV (76,028 subscribers) leading the gains. Canal Plus is the market leader with 1.65 million subscribers with ONO in second place with 789,895.
In the FTA market where the duopoly Atresmedia-Mediaset takes almost 60 per cent of the audience and over 85 per cent of all total ad revenues, the closure of the DTT channels will give Mediaset an advantage over its archrival Atresmedia. Mediaset only loses two channels out of the eight TV channels it operates, whereas Atresmedia loses three channels out of the seven channels it manages.
In terms of audience ratings, the 9 DTT channels now closed down represented an average audience of 6.7 per cent, of which 5 per cent comes from Atresmedia with its channels Nitro, Xplora and La Sexta 3 pulling in an average rate of 1.7 per cent each one against 0.9 per cent of Mediaset’s channels La Siete and Nueve each one. So, Atresmedia will lose a total of 5 share points in comparison with Mediaset´s two points.
The closure will also affect the future of the only pay-TV channel in the DTT platform, Gol TV (around 200,000 subscribers) as Atresmedia has already announced plans to use its frequency – now rented by Gol TV until 2015- to launch a FTA channel.
The reshape of the DTT market will be completed with the migration of the DTT channels to other frequencies, an operation that will is estimated each Spanish household will have to pay an average of €20 for the retuning.