HD services are growing in popularity in Russia and will be watched in 24.5 million homes by the beginning of 2019.
Quoting a study by Jíson & Partners Consulting on the audience of linear HD channels, TelecomDaily and AKTR report that the subscriber base for HD channels in the country stood at 9.65 million in the first half of this year, up from 7.1 million in the corresponding period in 2013. This will rise to 24.5 million in the next five years.
As of H1 this year, Tricolor TV had the highest share of the HD market (39.6%), followed by Rostelecom (27.6%), VimpelCom (11%), MTS (8.9%) and Orion Express (6.9%). Interestingly, HD channels no longer give operators a competitive advantage and are seen as a basic service. Rather, this may be offered by 4K video libraries, such as the one operated by ivi.ru.
Ultra HD broadcasting is unlikely to start in Russia before 2016-2017.