Canal Digital struggles to arrest decline
Published: 08.59 UTC, February 8, 2011 by Julian Clover

Canal Digital continued to deal with subscriber erosion in the fourth quarter, but the Telenor-owned pay platform continued to grow revenues, largely on the back of additional services for its cable customers and increased prices for DTH. There were also lower sales to the small antenna TV networks.

The loss of 27,000 DTH subscribers took Canal Digital below the psychological one million barrier, ending 2010 on 997,000 homes, a loss of 63,000 homes over the 12-month period. Cable lost 2,000 subscribers to 716,000, but continued to build broadband internet customers, adding 10,000 on the quarter and 134,000 on the year.

It was the revenue growth from cable broadband, along with a reduced sales and marketing cost on DTH, which helped increase the quarterly EBITDA within the Canal Digital Group by NOK 16 million to NOH 206 million, though operating profit fell from NOK 89 million to NOK 46 million.

The profits included a NOK 52 million provision relating to minimum guarantees for content supplied to the Danish CATV and SMATV businesses that were divested at the beginning of 2011.

Telenor Broadcast’s Transmission and Encryption section, which includes content security firm Conax, had a better quarter. The division reported profits of NOK 204 million, up from NOK 179 million on the fourth quarter of 2009.

As a whole Telenor Broadcast’s fourth quarter profits remained unchanged on NOK 231 million.