Digital dilemmas: a Russian perspective

14.26 Europe/London, October 17, 2011 By Chris Dziadul

PIKE 2011 – POZNAN. Russia is likely to have up to 30 million cable homes by the time it completes ASO in 2015, while the number of DTH households will be around 15 million.

This, according to Yuri Pripachkin, the president of the Eurasian Association of Cable Television (EACT), will leave only around 3-4 million dependent solely on DTT services.
The question will then be who will pay for the 25-25 digital channels the latter will receive.
There is also the question of what will happen to the frequencies freed up following the transition to digital broadcasting, though this is likely to be addressed next year.
Other issues that need to be considered are digital content. At present operators provide viewers with between 100-140 digital channels, half of which are Russian.
However, there will be an increased reluctance to pay for some of this content.
Pripachkin also said that between 20-25% of Russian cable subscribers will not want to change their TV sets following the transition to digital broadcasting, being happy to receive 30-40 analogue TV channels for around €5 a month and generally more interested in internet access than TV services.