Romania’s pay-TV market has several features not seen in most others in Central and Eastern Europe.
Besides being served by dozens of operators but dominated by a single one – Digi’s RCS&RDS, which accounts for over two-thirds of subscribers – it has hardly any IPTV. Furthermore, it is also saturated, with there being little growth in overall subscriber numbers.
All this and much more is explored in the latest statistical data report on the country’s electronic communications market produced by the regulator ANCOM. It shows that as of the end of last year there were a total of 85 active operators, down from 97 in December 2021. Of these, 81 (93 in Q4 2021) provided cable, 5 (5) DTH and 4 (4) IPTV services.
Cable was the dominant transmission system, accounting for 6.6 million subscribers, up 6% on a year, while the DTH subscriber total fell by 21% to 1.2 million and IPTV by 22% to 90,000 over the same period. Pay-TV penetration per 100 households stood at 105%, up from 104.9% a year earlier.
Although the overall split between total urban and rural resident pay-TV subscribers was quite balanced as of the end of 2022 (55% v 45%), it was much more pronounced with specific technologies. Cable was 59% v 41% urban to rural, while DTH was 32% urban and 68% rural. IPTV (70%), perhaps not surprisingly, was predominantly urban.
In terms of subscriber numbers, RCS&RDS accounted for 69.1% of the total as of the end of last year. It was followed by Vodafone (10.7%), Orange -Telekom fixed (9.8%), Orange (6.2%) and others (4.2%). Significantly, RCS&RDS’s share has grown consistently since mid-2020, when it stood at 55.5%.
While RCS&RDS is particularly dominant in cable, accounting for 77.1% of subscribers as of the end of 2022 (75.3% a year earlier), it is not so in DTH. Indeed, as of the end of 2022, at 30.4%, it found itself in second place behind Orange’s operations.
Interestingly, analogue cable, though gradually losing popularity, still accounted for 47% of cable subscribers at the end of 2022. This, along with digital cable’s 53%, was unchanged on a year earlier.
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