“Competition between infrastructures is the best long term solution for creating consumer choice, not opening up the analogue offer for third party reselling.” according to Rob van Esch, MD of the Dutch cablers’ association NL Kabel.
Speaking at the yearly congress of the combined Dutch cable programme councils Kabelraden, he said: “We’ve seen that all market parties that were active on the KPN [copper] network have been bought up by the incumbent. So, the new parties got customers from KPN and later on, KPN bought them back.”
With the Dutch telecoms regulator OPTA setting the wholesale price for analogue cable at €8.46 for Ziggo, it will be very difficult for newcomers to build a profitable business. “But that is not essential for us,” said Gijs Davelaar of Your.tv, one of the new third party resellers, “We are looking to get new customers and will use analogue as an entry point for more services including digital TV.”
With the wholesale price set at €8.46 (and a similar amount for UPC), the reseller has to fork out costs for acquiring the content (distribution contracts with channels), marketing and sales and of course 19% tax (VAT). At the moment, the average monthly basic subscription at Ziggo costs €16.45, which offers 30 analogue as well as 60 digital channels. Viewers have to buy their own STB or integrated digital TV set with CI Plus.