Ukrainian cable operators will either have to raise their prices or significantly reduce the number of channels in their pay-TV packages, according to Sergei Boyko, the president of Volia, the country’s largest operator.

Quoted by Finance and Mediasat, he added that their prices had remained unchanged last year despite inflation having run at 25%.

In his view, there are now two ways in which operators can make up their losses.

The first will be to raise their prices by 25-30% in the first half of this year, followed by a possible further 15-20% in the second half.

The second will be to significantly decrease the number of pay-TV channels in their offers, especially international ones whose cost in tied to currencies.

Bojko said that the annexation of Crimea had resulted in the Ukrainian cable market losing around 200,000 subscribers in 2014.

A further 250,000 have been affected by the fighting in the eastern regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, while some 1% of the 4.5 million cable subscriber basse have switched to DTH or IPTV/OTT services.

In his view, the combined effect of these factors in 2014 was to shrink the cable market in Ukraine in real terms by10-15%.