Viasat adds 27,000 premium pay-TV subscribers in 3Q09

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 
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Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (“MTG” or “the Group”) (Nasdaq OMX Stockholm’s Large Cap market: MTGA, MTGB) today announced its financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended 30 September 2009.

Viasat Broadcasting

Pay-TV Nordic

Viasat Broadcasting’s pay-TV operations in the Nordic region comprise the Viasat DTH satellite broadcasting platform and 22 Viasat-branded pay-TV channels, as well as distribution agreements with leading third party IPTV and other pay-TV networks.

                                 Sep   Jun   Sep 
(000's)                         2009  2009  2008
                                ----  ----  ----
Premium subscribers              802   778   740
- of which, DTH satellite        675   666   679
- of which, IPTV                 128   112    61
Basic DTH satellite subscribers   48    55    76

24,000 net premium subscribers were added in the third quarter, following continued growth in the IPTV subscriber base, as well as the net addition of 9,000 premium DTH satellite subscribers. The growth in the DTH base reflected the ongoing subscriber acquisition campaigns as the analogue switch-off nears completion in Norway and Denmark, as well as the popularity of Viasat’s enhanced sports channel offering.

The number of subscribers with ViasatPlus recordable digital set-top boxes increased year on year to 133,000 (103,000), and from 127,000 at the end of the second quarter of 2009, to represent 20% of the premium DTH subscriber base. The number of multi-room subscriptions increased year on year to 195,000 (159,000), and from 186,000 at the end of the second quarter of 2009, to represent 27% of the total DTH subscriber base. The number of HDTV subscribers also increased year on year to 82,000 (29,000), and from 68,000 at the end of the second quarter of 2009, to represent 12% of the premium DTH subscriber base.

MTG secured its position during the third quarter as the leading provider of online TV content in Sweden, by including the catch-up TV services of Swedish broadcasters TV4 and SVT on its Viasat OnDemand internet portal. The portal now includes the catch-up services for channels that together attract an almost 70% share of TV viewing in Sweden, as well as over 1,000 movies and live coverage of major sports events. On-demand services are also available to Viasat satellite subscribers with broadband connected ViasatPlusHD recordable set-top boxes.

Pay-TV Emerging Markets

Viasat’s Emerging Markets pay-TV operations comprise the DTH satellite platforms in the Baltics and Ukraine, as well as the 11 Viasat channels that are distributed through third party pay-TV networks to subscribers in 25 countries across Central and Eastern Europe and the United States.

MTG also announced after the end of the quarter that it had signed a four year agreement with Elion, which is the largest broadband and IPTV services provider in Estonia. The agreement will enable Viasat to market and sell its pay-TV channel packages to Elion’s 175,000 broadband customers, 88,000 of which have IPTV, from the end of October 2009. Viasat’s Estonian free-TV channels TV3, TV6 and 3+ have already been made available to Elion subscribers through the platform’s existing IPTV packages, which will significantly boost the penetration of the TV6 and 3+ channels. The deal follows a similar agreement with Telia in Sweden and follows agreements with ten broadband network operators in Scandinavia.

                                 Sep     Jun     Sep 
(000's)                         2009    2009    2008
                              ------  ------  ------
Premium DTH subscribers          207     204     193
Basic DTH subscribers             22      19       8
Mini-pay TV subscriptions     39,620  40,182  33,208

Viasat’s Baltic and Ukrainian DTH satellite pay-TV platforms added 14,000 net premium subscribers year on year, and 3,000 quarter on quarter, following continued subscriber intake in Ukraine and a smaller net loss of subscribers in the Baltics than in the second quarter. The wholesale mini-pay business added 6.5 million subscriptions year on year, whilst the quarter on quarter development reflected the loss of contracts with two major cable network operators.

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