Portuguese pay-TV penetration hits 44%

Pay-TV is present in some 44 per cent of Portuguese households, while the total number of subscribers surpassed 2.4 million in the third quarter of 2009. This represents an increase of 72,000 subscribers over the previous quarter and up 232,000 on an annual basis, with the main drivers of growth being IPTV followed by DTH, according to the latest data released by Portugal’s national telecommunications regulator Anacom.

Cable TV distribution now represents less than 60 per cent of the total pay-TV subscribers or 742,000, down 1.8 percentage points on the previous quarter, while the share of other distribution platforms has risen 1.2 percentage points to approximately 15 per cent. The weight of DTH has grown to about 26 per cent of the total or 624,000, while the fibre-based offers, provided by Sonaecom, Portugal Telecom (Meo) and Zon/TV Cabo, represent only 0.5 per cent of subscribers or 12,000.

In regional terms, the distribution platform varies considerably. Cable is still dominant in Lisbon, Madeira, the North, Algarve and the Azores. In Central Portugal and the Alentejo DTH is predominant, although "other technologies" are used by more than 25 per cent of subscribers. As regards to the geographical distribution, Lisbon, North and Central regions still have more than 80 per cent of pay-TV customers.

Zon is still pay-TV market leader with a 66.6 per cent share (down 1.8 percentage points), followed by PT Comunicações (Meo) with 20.7 per cent (+2 per cent), Cabovisão (10.6 per cent), Ar Telecom (1 per cent), Sonaecom (0.9 per cent) and Vodafone Portugal (0.1 per cent).