Poland’s DTH market could be approaching saturation point despite 2010 being another impressive year for subscriber growth.
Quoting a number of analysts, Rzeczpospolita says that both Cyfrowy Polsat and n, despite not having yet posted Q4 results, are likely to have seen subscriber growth during the quarter.
One estimate puts the total number of DTH homes in the country as of the end of 2010 as 6.23 million, with Cyfrowy Polsat claiming 3.37 million and n 802,000.
What is important is that DTH subscriber growth is slowing and that this trend is expected to continue in 2011.
Dominik Libicki, the president of market leader Cyfrowy Polsat, believes the pay-TV penetration rate in Poland (for both DTH and cable, assuming 10-15% of subscribers opt for more than one service) is around 70%. He also expects it to grow to 80%, or by an extra one million homes.
Given that Poland’s cable market is currently focused on consolidation and the provision of advanced services rather than acquiring more subscribers, the DTH sector is likely to pick up the majority of these one million potential customers.
Consolidation is also looking increasingly likely in the Polish DTH sector, with some suggesting that Cyfrowy Polsat might try to buy Cyfra+.