TV costs squeeze Orange

Orange receptionThe cost of acquiring sports and movie rights for Orange TV’s recently launched premium channels impacted on the profits of parent France Telecom in the first quarter.

The sports channels and Orange Cinema Series, which have faced challenges in the French courts over the nature of their exclusivity, had reached 363,000 subscribers in the period to March 31, 2009, compared to 130,000 at December 31, 2008. EBITDA at the telco fell by 4.4% to €4.3 billion.

Nonetheless, France Telecom’s IPTV success story continues in its domestic market with 2.166 million digital TV subscribers, including 316,000 to the satellite platform, introduced on July 3, 2008

VOD continues to grow in popularity; 7.7 million downloads were recorded in the first quarter of 2009, compared to 2 million in Q1 2008.

In Poland the number of digital TV subscribers (satellite and IPTV) quadrupled in a year to 198,000 customers. The fledgling Spanish IPTV platform reported 99,000 customers.