Digital terrestrial TV services as still used by two in five Portuguese households, albeit not exclusively.
According to a study by the regulator ANACOM, undertaken between June and August 2022, pay-TV services were used by 87.9% of Portuguese families in their main residences. However, DTT services, available free of charge, were accessed by 38.6% of households, though not necessarily exclusively. About 10% of families had secondary residences, with half of them (50.8%) reporting having some form of DTT access in those residences. If considering the main residences and families with secondary residences, it is estimated that around 40% had access to DTT signals. This was higher than the 32$ recorded in 2016.
ANACOM notes that in 2022, there were 2.3 million TVs in Portugal with DTT access, 90% in main and 10% in secondary residences. On average, each family had 1.6 TVs with DTT access in their usual residence and 1.3 TVs in their second homes. The percentage of families with access to DTT in their homes increased by 5.3pp in four years (33.3% in 2018 and 38.6% in 2022), and the majority simultaneously had a pay-TV service (75.6% or 29.2% of all families).
Nine percent of families exclusively used DTT in their main residences, down 6.3pp on 2018 (15.3%), while 5.5% did not have any fixed electronic communications service.
The use of DTT by families varies according to geographic location, both in main residences, inversely to what was observed with pay-TV, and in secondary residences. In main households, DTT penetration was higher than the national average in the Centre (44%), North (43%) and Alentejo (41%) regions of the country, while pay-TV penetration was higher than the national average in the remaining four regions (autonomous regions, Lisbon Metropolitan Area and, to a lesser extent, in the Algarve).
In second homes, DTT penetration in these homes exceeded 50% in the Área Metropolitana de Lisboa (55%) and Alentejo (54%) regions.
ANACOM adds that family typology and family income influence the means of access to the TV signal used. Families with children and with higher incomes tend to register a higher pay-TV penetration. On the other hand, families without children, and families with lower incomes, have higher DTT penetration rates. Larger families, with or without children, tend to register greater combined use of pay-TV and DTT.