Spain pay TV boost
From David Del Valle in Madeid

The number of Spanish homes with pay TV in the first half of 2011 reached 21.9 per cent of all households, according to the latest report from the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT).

Two out of ten households already have pay-TV services, although there are big variances depending on the size of municipalities. Higher penetration rates occurred in populations with size between 200,000 and 500,000 and the lowest in municipalities with populations under 10,000 inhabitants.

Specifically, 32.1 per cent of households in cities between 200,000 and 500,000 people have pay TV, while this percentage is 23.1 per cent in the case of municipalities of 10,000 to 50,000. In municipalities with a population of between 50,000 and 200,000 inhabitants the penetration stands at 22.3 per cent while in the largest villages of over 500,000 inhabitants the rate is at 20.7 per cent.

CMT says pay TV penetration varies depending on the level of fixed telephony penetration and fast Internet access as pay TV services usually form part of a triple play offer.

On average, Spanish households spend Ä40.5 a month on pay TV, up 8 per cent over the same period in 2010, as a single service. However, the ARPU for the triple play offer stands at Ä54.4 a month, 1.6 per cent less than the same period in 2010.

Since 2006, the penetration of pay television has remained fairly stable at around 20 per cent of households.

In the CMTís survey, three out of four Spanish households said that FTA TV is enough as a reason not to have pay TV. Other reasons are that pay television in Spain is expensive (33.7 per cent of households saying it); that it is not necessary (30.6 per cent); others are not interested (22.6 per cent); others do not watch much television (21.5 per cent) and the supply of channels and services is not very attractive (5.9 per cent).