Announcing its Q3 results, the Belgian operator Telenet has said its digital TV customers typically generate an ARPU which is approximately twice as high as the basic cable television ARPU. This is mainly thanks to on-demand content, the uptake of thematic and premium channel packages, as well as recurring rental fees.
The total premium television revenue generated by Telenet Digital TV, INDI and Pay TV customers reached €82.5 million for the first nine months of 2009, up from €56.3 million for the prior year period, an increase of 47%. On a sequential basis, the pace of premium cable television revenue growth accelerated from 44% in Q1 2009 to 43% in Q2 2009 to 53% in Q3 2009 (€29.4 million).
This revenue is in addition to basic TV subscription revenue, which showed a 46% increase in basic cable television revenue to €240.0 million (Q3 2009: €80.5 million, up 46% year-on-year). However, this increase was mainly due to the acquisition of the Interkabel networks.
At the end of September 2009, Telenet served a total of 2,363,000 television customers, analogue and digital, compared to 1,674,000 at the end of September 2008. An increase also due to the addition of the Interkabel networks. In total, Telenet said it lost 39,000 basic analogue customers on the combined networks. The operator’s penetration rate was 84.8% at the end of September 2009, versus 86.6% a year earlier.
Telenet’s digital cable TV subscriber base totaled 916,000, comprising 857,000 Telenet digital TV subscribers and 59,000 customers on the INDI digital TV platform, which was part of the Interkabel networks. This represented a 39% penetration of digital TV. Year-to-date, Telenet welcomed 247,000 new digital subscribers compared to 128,000 net additions over the first nine months of 2008.
Total VOD transactions grew by 58% over the first nine months of 2009 to 22.8 million compared to 14.4 million over the first nine months of 2008. In Q3 2009 alone, it recorded 8.4 million transactions (up 68% year-on- year). Compared to the previous year period, the number of average monthly transactions per user remained stable around 3.5 over the first nine months of the year.
In addition to VOD revenue, the company’s premium cable TV revenue was driven by the strong uptake in rentals of the high-end HD and PVR-enabled set-top boxes.
Telent also had 715,000 fixed telephony subscribers and 1,085,000 broadband internet subscribers.