Subscription television signal distribution service - 2018



This information is copyrighted to ANACOM

This information is copyrighted to ANACOM

Executive summary

85.9% of households have paid TV and 95.9% of them had this service in a bundle

At the end of 2018, subscription TV signal distribution service residential penetration reached 85.9 subscribers per 100 private households. According to Marktest’s Telecommunications Barometer, around 95.9% of homes with STV would have acquired the service in a bundle, 0.4 p.p. more than in the same period in the previous year.

Pay TV subscribers reached 3.9 million due to the growth of offers using FTTH

At the end of the 2018, the number of subscribers to the subscription TV signal distribution service reached 3.9 million users, 140 thousand more than in the previous year. The growth rate in the number of subscribers in 2018 was 3.7%, a value lower than the average of the last four years (4.1%).

Service growth was due to offers using FTTH, which accounted for 303 thousand more subscribers than in the previous year (+22.8%). FTTH technology became the main form of access to this service in the first quarter of 2018 and, at the end of the year, represented 41.4% of total subscribers, 6.5 percentage points (p.p.) more than in the previous year.

Along with the growth of FTTH offers, a reduction was recorded in other forms of access to the service. Accesses supported in cable television networks,, satellite TV (DTH) and ADSL networks decreased by 0.9%, 8.7% and 18.2%, respectively, to 34.1%, 12.7% and 11.8% of total accesses, respectively.

79.3% of homes had more than 100 channels, although premium channel subscribers reached a record low

About 79.3% of homes with pay TV had more than 100 channels, 3.1 p.p. more than in 2017.

On the other hand, the percentage of households with access to premium channels was 15.8%. The lowest value since this type of information has been collected was recorded in the 3rd quarter of 2018 (14.2%).

Use of available features increased as well as subscriptions to video streaming on demand services

The portion of subscribers who used at least one of the service features reached about 74% (+11.6 p.p. In the last four years). Automatic recordings continue to be the most used service.

At the end of 2018, according to Marktest’s Telecommunications Barometer, 10.9% of individuals aged 10 and over had subscribed to video streaming on demand services (i.e. Netflix, Fox Play, NPlay or Amazon Prime Video), 4.5 p.p. more than in 2017. The increase in the penetration of these services contributed to the growth of monthly traffic by fixed broadband access (40.7%), which reached a new historical maximum (107.1 GB).

NOS led and MEO captured more subscribers

The NOS Group continued to be the main subscription TV signal distribution service operator, with a subscriber share of around 41.2%.

In addition to the NOS Group, there were three operators with significant shares: MEO (39.2%), which was the entity whose share grew most in 2018, Vodafone (15.1%) and NOWO (4.3%).