Romania ends 1H 2016 with 7.2 million pay TV subscribers

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 
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More and more subscribers to audio-visual programme retransmission services every year

According to ANCOM’s statistical data report, by the end of the first half of 2016, there were 7.2 million subscribers to paid audio-visual programme retransmission services, i.e. +5% y.o.y. 4.6 million of these are subscribers to cable networks, 2.4 million – subscribers to satellite networks (DTH) and 89 thousand – subscribers using the IP technology (IPTV). The number of subscribers that receive audio-visual programme retransmission services in digital format grows by 7.5%.

ANCOM - Romania Audio-Visual Market 1H 2016

At mid-2016, the audio-visual programme retransmission services penetration rate per 100 households was almost 96%, while the penetration rate of such services received in digital format reached 60%.

Out of the 7.2 million subscribers to audio-visual programme retransmission services, 60% (4.3 million) live in urban areas, while the rest – i.e. 40% (2.9 million) – in rural areas. Cable remains the reception support preferred by most urban subscribers (75% of all the cable subscribers), the rest of the cable subscribers (25%) living in rural areas. On the other hand, rural households receive such services mostly by satellite networks (DTH) – 59%.

Audio-visual programme services received in digital format

Following the recent years’ trend, the number of subscribers to audio-visual media programme retransmission services received in digital format keeps growing, reaching approximately 4.5 million out of the total of 7.2 million subscribers. The number of subscribers to services received in digital format increased by 8% y.o.y., reaching 63% of all the subscribers.

In respect of the support used, at the end of June 2016, 54% (2.4 million) of the subscribers received TV programmes in digital format by means of satellite networks (DTH), whereas 44% (approximately 2 million) accessed these programmes over cable networks, and 2% (89 thousand) via IP technology (IPTV). In the past year, the number of subscribers to services provided over cable networks in digital format increased by more than 10%, that of subscribers to service provided on DTH satellite networks increased by 5%, while the number of subscribers using IP technology (IPTV) increased by 28%.

Services of audio-visual programme retransmission provided by cable

Cable subscribers keep holding the largest share of the total number of subscribers to audio-visual programme retransmission services (65%), their number growing by almost 5% y.o.y.. Out of the 4.6 million subscribers to services provided over cable networks, 3.5 million live in urban areas, whereas 1.2 million subscribers live in rural areas. The number of rural subscribers increased by 9% compared to the urban subscribers’ increase by only 3%, over the same period.

Thus, the penetration rate of cable audio-visual programme retransmission services in urban areas reached 82% while the penetration rate of these services in rural areas grew up to 36%.

Pay TV subscribers (millions – except Growth)

                          2014          2015   2016
                  ------------  ------------  -----  Growth
                  30.06  31.12  30.06  31.12  30.06     YoY
                  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  ------
Total              6.52   6.78   6.82   7.06   7.15   +4.8%
Cable TV           4.21   4.39   4.43   4.55   4.64   +4.5%
Satellite (DTH)    2.25   2.33   2.32   2.42   2.43   +4.6%
IPTV               0.06   0.07   0.07   0.08   0.09  +28.3%

ANCOM’s Statistical data report on the Romanian electronic communications market in the first half of 2016 is based on the statistical data reported by the active electronic communications service providers that carried out commercial activities during 1 January – 30 June 2016.