The HD subscribers of the largest pay-TV operators in Russia amount to hundreds of thousands, and the channels available on HD platform come to dozens.
The HD technology has become popular indeed in the Russian market over just several years. The operators point out that their subscribers prefer watching sports and movie content in HD-quality.
According to the Telecom Daily, among the largest Russian TV operator with over 1 million subscriber base, in terms of number of HD channels available on the platform, the leader is ER-Telecom (Dom.ru): its subscribers can watch 61 HD-channels. This company is followed by Beeline TV (57 HD-channels) and Rostelecom (42 HD-channels).
As reported to the Telecom Daily by the press office of the telecom operator Dom.ru, the company will continue expanding the range of HD-channels in 2015. For reference, in 2012, when the company launched Dom.ru TV, there were only 20 HD-channels, so their number has tripled. During the year, the share of users of the digital TV Dom.ru TV, who watch HD-channels, has increased by 35%. The share of these channels’ audience is higher in those cities, where the digital TV service was launched earlier, for example, in Perm.
Beeline TV’s all set-top boxes are equipped with HD, so, according to the operator, over 1 million subscribers of Beeline TV watch HD-channels. Along with 57 HD-channels available on the main platform, the HD-channels are also present in the operator’s mobile TV service: now there are 30 of them, and the total number of mobile TV channels is 96.
Rostelecom (Interactive TV) like most others, has the HD channels presented in all usual packages at least with 4 HD-channels, as stated by the Company. Rostelecom also offers additional packages with HD-content: Your ideal HD (over 30 HD-channels), as well as the HD-channels are present in other packages (Viasat Premium HD, Amedia Premium, Plus football and others.). The general number of HD-channels in all packages is 42. The company’s press office states they are trying to stimulate HD consumption by means of an exclusive content: for instance, there are available such movie channels as Paramount Channel HD and Strashnoe HD (Scary movies) upon such terms.
MTS has available 37 HD-channels, and it ranks fourth. Compared with the first half of 2014, the number of such channels increased by 20%. We can observe that HD-content is high in demand of our subscribers, and therefore we made global changes in the basic package by increasing the number of HD-channels in 2,5 times in all areas of our coverage, as stated by the operator’s representatives.
According to MTS, the number of HD-channels’ viewers within the subscriber base of the digital TV by MTS in Russian regions has increased by over 50%, compared with the first half of the previous year.
The high penetration of HD subscribers in the subscriber base is obtained by the satellite operator Tricolor TV: in the first half of 2015 it exceeded 46%, amounting to 5.3 million subscribers (a 7% growth just in the second quarter) out of 11,415 million, who enjoy the operator’s services all over the country. On August 1, the package Edinyi (Unified) by Tricolor TV incorporated three new HD-channels like Eurosport HD, Discovery Channel HD and TLC HD. The platform has available a total of 35 HD-channels, taking into account the additional services.
The subscribers of Orion Express, the second largest satellite TV player, have available 21 HD-channels in the Unlimited package and 13 HD-channels in the Standard package, and the general number of subscribers using the recommended HD-equipment amounts to near 500 thousand.
The operators, interviewed by TelecomDaily, point out that their subscribers prefer watching movie and sports channels in HD-quality. For example, in the first quarter of 2015 among the TV subscribers of MTS there were popular Sport 1 HD, National Geographic HD, Nash Futbol HD (Our Football), National Geographic Wild HD.
Among the users of Dom.ru TV the most popular are HD-versions of the public TV channels, and the second are the movie channels, and the third are the entertainment ones. At the end of the 1st half of 2014 and in 2015, the leaders were Channel 1 HD and Russia HD, according to the Company.
Within the network of Interactive TV the first place came to Strashnoe HD (Scary movies) since its launching. The new channel Strashnoe HD appeared in Russia due to a rapid growth of audience of thrillers and horror movies, as well as the demand for HD content. In addition, the audience of horror movies is one of the most loyal, and it usually does not change habits. Over the past four years, the share of regular Russian audience of this genre has grown by over a half: from 27% to 45%, as clarified by the Rostelecom’s press office.
On the platform of Tricolor TV the greatest viewers’ popularity is enjoyed by movie channels of the operator’s own production, such as KinoPremium HD and Ostrosyuzhetnoe HD (Action Movies), as well as HD-versions of the federal TV channels, sports channels and educational ones about nature and animals.