Viasat adds 30,000 premium pay-TV subscribers in 4Q09

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 
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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 fourth quarter and full year ended 31 December 2009.

Viasat Broadcasting

Pay-TV Nordic

Viasat Broadcasting’s pay-TV operations in the Nordic region comprise the marketing and selling of Viasat’s premium pay-TV packages on its own DTH satellite platform and third party IPTV platforms. Viasat also distributes its 24 Viasat-branded pay-TV channels via other third party pay-TV networks.

                                 Dec    Sep   Jun   Dec    Sep
(000's)                          2009  2009  2009   2008  2008
                                 ----  ----  ---- | ----  ----
Premium subscribers               823   802   778    754   740
- of which, DTH satellite         685   675   666    676   679
- of which, IPTV                  138   128   112     78    61
Basic DTH satellite subscribers    45    48    55     69    76

Viasat added 21,000 net new premium subscribers to its Nordic pay-TV platform in the fourth quarter following continued IPTV subscriber growth, as well as growth in the DTH subscriber base after the completion of the analogue TV shut-downs in both Norway and Denmark. The number of subscribers with ViasatPlus recordable digital set-top boxes increased year on year to 141,000 (115,000), and from 133,000 at the end of the third quarter of 2009, whilst the number of multi-room subscriptions increased to 211,000 (170,000) from 195,000 at the end of the third quarter. The number of HDTV subscribers more than doubled year on year to 106,000 (43,000), and from 82,000 at the end of the third quarter.

MTG secured its position during the year as the leading provider of online TV content in Sweden, by including the play TV services from TV3, TV6 and TV8 as well as from commercial broadcaster TV4 and public service broadcaster SVT on its Viasat OnDemand internet portal. The significantly enhanced platform 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 in the Nordic region with broadband connected ViasatPlusHD recordable set-top boxes. A subscription video on demand (SVOD) service was launched on the Viasat OnDemand internet portal in Scandinavia on 8 February 2010.

Pay-TV Emerging Markets

Viasat’s Emerging Market pay-TV operations comprise the marketing and selling of premium pay-TV packages on its own DTH satellite platforms in the Baltics and Ukraine, and on Elion’s IPTV platform in Estonia, as well as the distribution of its 11 Viasat-branded channels via third party pay-TV networks to subscribers in 25 countries across Central and Eastern Europe and the United States.

                               Dec     Sep     Jun      Dec     Sep
(000's)                       2009    2009    2009     2008    2008
                            ------  ------  ------ | ------  ------
Premium DTH subscribers        216     207     204      218     193
Basic DTH subscribers           24      22      19       11       8
Mini-pay TV subscriptions   40,778  39,620  40,182   36,469  33,208

Viasat’s Baltic and Ukrainian DTH satellite pay-TV platforms added 9,000 net new premium subscribers in the fourth quarter following continued subscriber intake in Ukraine and a more stable position in the Baltics. The wholesale mini-pay business added 1.2 million subscriptions quarter on quarter and 4.3 million subscriptions year on year in the fourth quarter to break back through the 40 million mark.

MTG announced in October 2009 that it had signed a four year agreement with Elion, which is the largest broadband and IPTV service provider in Estonia. Viasat can now market and sell its pay-TV channel packages to Elion’s 175,000 broadband customers, 88,000 of which subscribe to IPTV services on the Elion platform. Viasat’s Estonian free-TV channels (TV3, TV6 and 3+) have now been made available to existing Elion IPTV subscribers.

The Group announced on 8 February 2010 that it had acquired 50% of Raduga Holdings S.A. (“Raduga”) from Continental Media S.A. for an undisclosed consideration in cash. Raduga is the sole owner of LCC DaoGeoCom, which operates Russian nationwide DTH satellite pay-TV platform Raduga TV. Raduga TV was launched in February 2009 and had 70,000 active subscribers as at 31 December 2009. The platform offers a package of more than 50 TV channels, including a wide range of Russian channels and the localised versions of leading international channel brands including Viasat’s own entertainment channels. The Group’s interest in Raduga will be proportionately consolidated by MTG and reported in the Group’s Pay-TV Emerging Markets business segment within the Viasat Broadcasting business area.

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