According to preliminary data published by TMT Consulting, the main source of growth was converged packages consisting of pay-TV and broadband, with mobile also included in some cases.
The number of pay-TV subscribers at year’s end stood at 45.3 million, with penetration exceeding 79%.
As in previous years, revenues increased at a much faster rate (up 10.1%, to R103.9 billion – €1.47 billion) than the pay-TV subscriber base.
Revenue growth was down to annual increases in subscription fees and a higher share of more profitable customers as the shift from analogue cable to IPTV and digital cable continued. ARPU amounted to R193 excluding VAT, up R13 on a year earlier.
As of the end of 2019 there was no change in terms of the composition of the leading providers of pay-TV services, though MTS moved ahead of ER-Telecom from fourth to third place. Tricolor accounted for 27% of the pay-TV subscribers base, followed by Rostelecom (23%), MTS (9%), ER-Telecom (8%), Orion (7%) and others (26%). However, Rostelecom claimed the highest revenue share (36%), double that of second placed Tricolor (16%).
Tricolor’s subscriber base (12.230 million) showed practically zero growth in 2019, while Rostelecom’s grew by 2.5% to 10.4 million. Third placed MTS grew the most, up 8.3% to 3.860 million, with ER Telecom showing no growth at 3.747 million and Orion dipping by 0.4% to 3.131 million. Significantly, in the lucrative Moscow market, Rostelecom claimed 55% of all pay-TV subscribers.
In 2019 cable accounted for 41% of subscribers, with satellite TV claiming 38% and IPTV 21%. Cable also led in revenue terms (41%), followed by IPTV (34%) and satellite TV (34%). The IPTV subscriber total grew by 10% in 2019, while satellite TV saw an increase of 1.1% and cable a reduction of 1.1%.
Looking to this year, TMT Consulting is forecasting the pay-TV subscriber base to grow by 0.4-0.6%, driven mainly by IPTV. Revenue growth will fall to 5-7%, with the total amounting to R110 billion.