Optical fibre drives growth in subscription TV service

As at the end of first quarter 2015, there were about 3.404 million subscribers to the subscription television service in Portugal, 54 thousand more subscribers than in the previous quarter and 194 thousand more than as reported in the same period of 2014.

While all technologies saw growth in the period being reported, overall growth of the service was due mainly to offers based on optical fibre (FTTH/B), where the number of subscribers increased by 7% over the previous quarter, to 671 thousand subscribers. The number of subscribers to cable television networks increased for the first time since mid-2012 (+0.2% to 1.370 million).

At the end of 1st quarter 2015, the cable TV distribution service represented 40.2 percent of all subscribers while xDSL represented 22.3%. Optical fibre (FTTH/B) already represents nearly 20% of total subscribers and is the technology which has reported the most growth. DTH was used by 17.7 percent of all subscribers.

It is estimated that around 84.5% of subscribers to the subscription television service received the service as part of a bundle. The number of subscribers to subscription TV services as part of bundle increased 2.8% in the 1st quarter.

Grupo NOS reported the largest share of subscription TV subscribers (43.9%), followed by MEO, Vodafone and Cabovisão with shares of 41.7%, 8.2% and 5.9%, respectively. Vodafone was the provider that added the largest number of subscribers in net terms during 1Q15.

Total revenues from the subscription TV service (stand-alone offers and bundles that include this service) totalled 406 million euros in the first quarter of 2015, while triple/quadruple/quintuple-play bundles were the main drivers of revenue growth.

Monthly average revenue from bundles which include the subscription TV service was reported at 40.9 euros in the 1st quarter.

At the end of March, about 17.9% of homes with pay-TV had access to premium channels (a drop of 0.7 percentage points from the previous quarter), while 68% had more than 80 channels (an increase of 6.8 percentage points versus the same period of 2014) - according to data from Marktest's Barómetro de Telecomunicações (Telecommunications Barometer).

According to the same source, use of the different features of the pay-TV service continues to increase. About 67% of users have used at least one of the service's features - about 53% used automatic recordings, 48% used the programming guide and 40% used the pause TV service. The videoclube/video-on-demand service was used by about 15% of subscribers.

Consult the statistical report: