Fibre and DSL still driving pay TV growth in Portugal in 1Q 2014

Thursday, June 5th, 2014 
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According to Portugal’s Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM), there were 3.21 million subscribers to subscription TV in the country at the end of the 1st quarter of 2014, 38,700 (+1.2 percent) more than in the previous quarter, and an extra 80,700 (+2.6 percent) compared with the end of the first quarter of 2013.

At the end of March, cable TV represented 43.5 percent of total subscribers, while DTH comprised 18.6 percent, and xDSL comprised 22 percent. Optical fibre (FTTH/B) accounted for 15.9 percent of all subscribers.

The total number of cable television service subscribers – around 1.396 million – was 5 thousand down on the previous quarter (-0.4 percent). The number of DTH subscribers stood at 598 thousand, 14 thousand fewer (-2.3 percent) than in the previous quarter, and 48 thousand fewer than at the end of March 2013 (-7.4%). The number of subscribers to subscription TV via optical fibre (FTTH/B) increased by 8 percent in the quarter, 23.4% annually, reaching a total of 511 thousand.

Subscription television service subscribers by technology (Units: 1000 subscribers; %)

                                                                                          Quarterly       Annual
                                 12Q2   12Q3   12Q4   13Q1   13Q2   13Q3   13Q4   14Q1    variation    variation
                                -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----------  -----------
Cable                           1,470  1,459  1,456  1,446  1,433  1,417  1,401  1,396   -5   -0.4%  -50   -3.5%
DTH                               668    671    660    646    633    630    612    598  -14   -2.3%  -48   -7.4%
FTTH                              341    370    394    414    434    452    473    511   38    8.2%   97   23.4%
Other technologies (xDSL, FWA)    599    607    612    623    644    657    686    705   19    2.8%   82   13.2%
Total                           3,079  3,108  3,122  3,129  3,143  3,156  3,171  3,210   39    1.2%   81    2.6%

The ZON Optimus Group continues to have the largest, though declining, share of subscription TV subscribers (46.4 percent). PT Comunicações (PTC) and Cabovisão follow with shares of 41.6 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. Vodafone is rapidly gaining share though from a low base.

Shares of subscription TV subscribers (Units: %)

                             12Q2    12Q3    12Q4    13Q1    13Q2    13Q3    13Q4    14Q1
                           ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
Grupo ZON/TV Cabo          51.42%  50.59%  50.22%  49.74%   49.0%       -
Optimus (ex-Sonaecom)       1.20%   1.19%   1.17%   1.18%    1.2%       -       -
Grupo ZON Optimus*              -       -       -       -       -   49.2%   47.8%   46.4%
  ZON TV Cabo Portugal     47.88%  47.10%  46.77%  46.30%   45.6%   44.7%   43.8%       -
  ZON TV Cabo Açoreana      1.54%   1.50%   1.46%   1.44%    1.4%    1.4%    1.1%       -
  ZON TV Cabo Madeirense    2.01%   1.99%   1.99%   2.00%    2.0%    2.0%    2.0%       -
  Optimus                       -       -       -       -       -    1.2%    0.8%       -

PT Comunicações            37.56%  38.55%  39.19%  39.88%   40.4%   40.9%   41.5%   41.6%
Cabovisão                   8.34%   8.13%   7.84%   7.59%    7.4%    7.2%    7.1%    6.9%
Vodafone                    1.33%   1.36%   1.38%   1.45%    1.8%    2.5%    3.5%    5.0%
Other providers             0.17%   0.19%   0.22%   0.19%    0.2%    0.2%    0.2%    0.2%

* ZON acquired Optimus on August 27, 2013
Source: ICP-ANACOM