September 2, 2013 08.54 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
Consolidation in the Russian DTH market is inevitable in the next 4-5 years, with the most likely merger being between Tricolor TV and NTV-Plus.
Quoting the findings of a study by ComNews Research, Cableman reports at that the number of DTH operators is likely to be reduced by at least one over this period.
It also says that the number of HD channels offered by satellite operators is likely to increase to an average of 30% of the total by 2017.
Although there will be less growth in the number of 3D and Ultra HD channels due to the high cost of content and reception equipment, most platforms will by then include 1-2 Ultra HD services in their line-up.
ComNews Research in addition expects satellite capacity to increase by 95% by the end of 2017.
Looking at more recent developments, it says that all Russian DTH platforms, with the exception on NTV-Plus, have enjoyed strong growth.
Raduga TV, for instance, was only launched in 2009 but already had 421,000 subscribers at the end of last year, while Orion Express doubled its subscriber base to 1 million last year.
In total, there were over 10 million subscribers to DTH services in Russia at the end of 2012.
Tricolor TV had a market share of 82.3%, followed by Orion Express (9.2%), NTV-Plus (4.2%), Raduga TV (3.9%) and others (0.4%).