Advanced Television

Spain: OTT closes in on pay-TV

July 17, 2019

From David Del Valle in Madrid

Spain’s three biggest streaming TV platforms – Netflix, HBO and Prime Video – have reached a combined 6 million subscribers according to the CNMC, nearing the same number as the 6.9 million who have a traditional pay-TV subscription with one of the three main operators – Movistar, Orange and Vodafone.

Competition is intensifying in the market with the streaming platforms increasingly adding subscribers, unlike the traditional pay-TV operators, with fewer legal obligations; OTTs are exempted from paying a 5 per cent tax in European TV productions and a 3 per cent tax to finance the public broadcaster RTVE. Traditional pay-TV operators are rallying against this “discrimination”, as sell as the latest CNMC recommendation to offer fewer convergent packages.

“From CNMC we would like to have more freedom, with less packaging”, explained José María Marín Quemada, president of CNMC.

According to the CNMC, the total number of convergent packages as of the end of 2018 was at 12.2 million, almost 600,000 more than one year earlier. Some 6.3 million were quad packages (fixed and mobile telephony and fixed and mobile broadband) and 5.9 million had five services packages (with TV). Out of the total 6.9 million pay-TV subscribers, 6.3 million had a convergent package.

In terms of ARPU, it decreased in 2018 with an expenditure of €53 a month in quad packages and €77.3 a month in five service packages, in this latter case down €2 than the previous year, according to the CNMC.

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