11.20 Europe/London, September 12, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

Russia’s pay-TV market was worth R19 billion (€462.8 million) in the first half of this year, or 20% more than in the same period in 2010.

At the same time, according to data produced by iKS-Consulting and published by ER Telecom, one of the country’s largest cable operators, the number of pay-TV subscribers amounted to 23 million (+15%) and the penetration level stood at 44.5%.

The top five pay-TV operators claimed a combined total of 72% of the subscriber base, with first placed Tricolor TV having 6 million, Rostelecom 5 million, MTS 2.6 million, ER Telecom 1.1 million and Akado 1 million.

Cable accounted for 65% of subscribers, satellite 32% and IPTV, while revenues were split 68% to cable, 28% to satellite and 4% to IPTV.

Cable ARPU in H1 was R147, satellite R130 and IPTV R193.

In terms of the digital pay-TV market, the subscriber total in H1 amounted to 8.7 million, or 16.8% of the population, of whom 1 million were in Moscow and 190,000 in St Petersburg.

The digital pay-TV market in H1 was worth R7.3 billion. Satellite is currently providing the main impetus for growth in pay-TV services in Russia.