Pay TV subscribers in Portugal up 5% in 2015

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Subscription TV service reports growth above the average of the last five years

According to Portugal’s Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM), at the end of 2015, the penetration rate of the subscription TV service was reported at 86.6 subscribers per 100 private households, increasing 4.1 percentage points compared to 2014. There were 3.52 million customers of the service, increasing by 167 thousand from the previous year, representing a growth rate of 5%, outpacing the average of the last five years (4.6%).

The service’s growth was mainly due to offers supported over FTTH/B (increasing by 185,100 subscribers). At the end of the year, FTTH/B represented, 23.1% of total subscribers (4.4 percentage points more than in the previous year), and became the second most important form of access, following cable.

The TV service based on cable technology decreased by 1.4% but remains the most important form of access (38.3%). Use of xDSL declined by 1.2% (representing the first decline reported for this technology since this information was first compiled), falling to third place among the networks supporting the service (21.3%). DTH (satellite transmission) follows with 17.4% of the total, increasing by 1.7%, the first annual increase since 2011.

The increase in bundled offers in 2015 resulted in an increase in the penetration of subscription television offers. At the end of the year, about 87.8% of subscribers received the service as part of a bundle of services.

In this period, about 78.1% of subscribers to the service had access to over 80 channels. The number of homes with subscription TV with access to premium channels remained in line with the previous year (18.6%) while reporting an increase of 3.2 points compared to 3rd quarter 2015.

The share of subscribers who used the different features of the subscription TV service increased by 5 percentage points in 2015, with about 67 percent of subscribers using at least one of the available features. Automatic recordings were used by 53% of customers, the most commonly used service.

During 2015, some of the most important Over-the-top services were launched in Portugal, including Netflix in October. This service has been included in some bundled offers. Before that, in September, NOS launched Nplay.

In 2015, total revenues derived from the subscription TV service (stand-alone and bundles that include this service) totalled 1.662 billion euros.

Grupo NOS continued to be the service’s leading operator with a 43.8% share of subscribers. MEO had a share of 40.7%, Vodafone 10.2% and Cabovisão 5.1%. Vodafone was the only provider to increase its share of subscribers (an increase of 2.7 percentage points) and is the service provider which gained the most subscribers in 2015 in net terms.