Quad-play drives Spain's pay-TV as subs near 5MN

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 28 December 2014

Pay-TV seems to be back on the growth path in Spain, after adding one million subs since Q3 2013 and nearing the five-million barrier by September 2014.

Driven by quad-play packages, which show a spectacular 230% growth since last year, Telefónica is clearly the fastest grower in the market.

According to the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, Spain's market authority, quad-play packages including Internet and telephone, both fixed and mobile, and pay-TV have added 1.2 million units during the last 12 months, nearing two million subscriptions. In this context, pay-TV subs have grown from 3.7 million in September 2013 to 4.71 million one year later.

IPTV, with 1.7 million accesses, and direct-to-home (DTH) with 1.6 million subs top the market regarding broadcasting technology, while cable is the third option with 1.13 million subs. IPTV operators, such as Telefónica and ONO, which have their own fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks, capitalise most of the growth, adding almost one million subs in the the last year.

Looking to the companies' figures, Canal+ is still topping the market with a stable 1.7 million subs, but Telefónica's refreshed Movistar TV nears the digits with 1.6 million accesses, after adding 900,000 subs last year. The third player is still ONO, now owned by Vodafone, with nearly 800,000 subs.

Indeed, the figures back up the market authority's concern about the Telefónica-Canal+ buyout, as the resultant company will gather 3.3 million subs in a market with less than five million accesses, which could damage the national competition.