Pressure is building in Israel to increase competition in the pay-TV sector, where the market effectively operates as a duopoly served by the cableco HOT and DTH platform Yes.
Haaretz reports that an inter-ministerial task force known as the DTT Team has over the last few months been looking at ways in which the dominance of HOT and Yes can be broken.
The ARPUs of both companies have been rising steadily over the last few years and in 2010 amounted to NIS208 (€40.9) per month in the case of HOT and NIS230 a month for Yes.
Receiving the services, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, is now one of the biggest household expenses in the country.
There have already been several failed attempts to reduce the two companies’ dominance. Although one of the latest will see the royalties they pay rise from 1% to 1.75% of their revenues this year and 2.5% in 2012, it is believed an even bigger impact on their positions may be made by the DTT platform IDAN Plus.
This is likely to be expanded, making it easier to launch an internet-based hybrid over-the-top platform offering free content over the air and premium on demand services over the internet.
Both HOT, which currently accounts for 60% of Israel’s pay-TV market, and Yes, claiming the remaining 40%, are expected to strongly resist any changes proposed by the task force.