According to Kommersant, operators can now only attract new customers by building fibre-optic infrastructure in the regions or launching new thematic channels. Additional services currently amount to some 15-20% of their revenues.
Quoting figures produced by the TelecomDaily agency, it adds that there were 41.65 million pay-TV subscribers in the country as of the end of June, with the penetration rate standing at 73%. ARPU amounted to R152 (€2.2) and had risen by R4 in the past year.
The five largest operators, headed by Rostelecom (+140,000), accounted for 90% of new connections in the first half of the year. Tricolor, the market leader in terms of subscriber numbers, gained 60,000 customers. Cable was still the most popular method of reception of pay-TV services (47% of subscribers), followed by satellite (39%) and IPTV (14%), with IPTV the fastest growing technology.
Drivers in the pay-TV market, as identified by the DTH platform operator Orion, include the production of TV content in the Russian market by foreign majors; new local thematic channels; and such multimedia services as mobile applications.
Commenting on the H1 figures, Denis Kuskov, head of the TelecomDaily agency, said: “The most in-demand pay-TV technology in Russia is satellite TV. Besides the short-term reduction of satellite TV growth, pay-TV infrastructure in Russian regions is still underdeveloped. IPTV’s growth is very slow because main operators do not rush to invest in regional infrastructure projects (except Rostelecom, which concluded 50% of all new contracts in H1 2017).”