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Off-peak period in the Russian pay-TV market

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The research conducted by the agency Telecom Daily showed that the Russian pay-TV market fell into recession. The number of new subscribers to that service amounted to 0.35 million for three months of this year, which is the worst figure over recent years. The pay-TV is preferred totally by 39.97 million Russians (penetration rate is 72, and the average price for services is 155 rubles/month).

Among those who obtained access to pay-TV in the first months of 2016, 90% became subscribers of the top five companies in the ranking of telecom providers. The best results in terms of new subscriptions were demonstrated by the “Rostelecom”. It was chosen by 50% of new users, ensuring the operator 0.17 million additional subscribers. Today, the “Rostelecom” provides pay-TV to 8.77 million subscribers, ranking the 2nd among telecom operators. Its leadership is attributed by the company to the increased coverage of households with optical networks, which led to the increase in IPTV subscribers. By the end of this year, the “Rostelecom” plans to complete its ambitious project of covering 33 million households with such networks (the actual figure is 31 million).

70 thousand subscribers were connected in the first quarter of 2016 by the satellite TV operator “Tricolor TV”, the leader of the ranking with 11.87 million subscribers. According to the company’s press office, it was HDTV that proved significantly more popular. Thus, for the first three months of this year, 424 thousand operator’s customers obtained access to TV broadcasting in HD-quality. The total number of HDTV subscribers increased by 6% rising beyond 7 million. In the first quarter of 2016 the “Tricolor TV” earned RUB 3.4 billion, which exceeds the same figure of previous year by 32%. According to Alexei Karpov, responsible for sales and customer service, the “Tricolor TV” is going to upgrade its services and equipment in the near future, and to give up MPEG-2 broadcasting next year.

The third result (39 thousand new subscribers) was demonstrated by the operator “Orion Express”. Taking into account new subscribers its customer base accounts for 2.84 million. Commenting on results in the first quarter of 2016, Maria Zhilina, Deputy CEO at the Company, pointes out that in view of the continued slowdown in economy the large satellite operators can not see their goal in attracting new customers, but in improving services offered to existing customers. As part of this work the company “Orion Express” initiated the program “Telecard Bonus”, which allows company’s clients to get various preferences and discounts.

The fourth position with the increase in 10 thousand users was maintained by the MTS. The pay-TV by MTS is actually enjoyed by 2,755 million subscribers. The agency Telecom Daily did not manage obtaining information regarding the number of subscribers to satellite TV. The MTS representatives specify that they are planning to estimate these subscribers as hundreds of thousands at the end of the year. The top five is closed by the company “ER Telecom” with 2.71 million customers.

Commenting on the results, Denis Kuskov, CEO at the Telecom Daily, remarks that the satellite broadcasting remains the most popular way of receiving TV signal. He can see the opportunities for the telecom market growth above all in expanding into new regions. In addition, according to Mr. Kuskov, the quarterly figures are not essential to set market trends, and these are semiannual results that are more significant in this respect.

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