Portugal: Highest pay-TV sub growth since 2016
June 10, 2020
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Portugal saw the highest growth in pay-TV subscribers in the past four years, reaching 4.1 million at the end of March 2020.
According to data released by the National Communications Authority (Anacom), more than 160,000 new pay-TV subscribers were added in the period January-March, corresponding to a 4 per cent growth on the same period in 2019.
An estimated 89 per cent of Portuguese households subscribe to pay-TV services (+3 per cent year-on-year).
FTTH accesses saw the highest growth (+15.9 per cent to 2 million) and account for 48 per cent of total pay-TV subscribers. Cable was second with 1.3 million subscribers (32.2 per cent of the total), followed by DTH with 462,000 (11.2 per cent) and ADSL with 351,000 (8.5 per cent).
DTH subscribers have been dropping in the last four years, but the trend is slowing down (-4.75 in March 2020, compared to -9.1 per cent a year ago). According to the regulator, at least one pay-TV service operator saw increased its subscriber base during the Covid-19 emergency.
For the first time, NOS saw its market share drop below 40 per cent (39.9 per cent), edging out Meo/Altice Portugal (39.7 per cent), followed by Vodafone Portugal (16.5 per cent) and Nowo (3.7 per cent).
Vodafone (+1 per cent) and Meo/Altice Portugal (+0.3 per cent) both saw subscriber growth in the quarter, while NOS (-0.9 per cent) and Nowo (-0.3 per cent) lost market share.
Meanwhile, network operator Altice Portugal plans to continue with the DTT migration process from the 700 MHz band, which will in the future be used for 5G.
The process, which was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be resumed in August and be completed in November.