Alongside President Putin signing into law controversial new legislation banning ads on cable and satellite channels from the beginning of next year has come the news of a slowdown in the take-up of pay-TV services in Russia.
Quoting data published by Telecom Daily, Vedomosti reports that the number of pay-TV users increased by around 500,000 to 35.5 million in Q2, or about 30% less than in the previous two quarters.
In the year the end of Q2, the number of pay-TV subscribers grew by 3 million, while a year earlier it increased by 4.5 million subscribers. Markets in large cities with a population of over 500,000 are now close to saturation, with a pay-TV penetration of mote than 72%. Although prospects are better in Siberia, the Far East and south of Russia, where pay-TV penetration stands at 52-57%, the slowdown could last for another year and a half.
The DTH platform Tricolor TV, Russia’s leading provider of pay-TV services, is also seeing a slowdown in growth, with new subscribers being secured thanks largely to the launch of a fully-fledged operation in Siberia.
Meanwhile, iKS Consulting says the number of pay-TV subscribers grew by 600,000 in Q2. In its view, the market is beginning to feel competition from FTA DTT services.