The number of pay-TV subscribers grew by 520,000, or nearly 2%, in the first half of this year.

According to data produced by ComNews Research and published by ComNews, it stood at 38.32 million as of the end of June, with the five leading operators – Tricolor TV, Rostelecom, Orion Express, MTS and ER-Telecom – accounting for 82% of the total.

Growth was influenced by such factors as growing interest in HD; the reduction of the analogue subscriber base; and strong interest in special offers for digital TV services.

The ‘star performers’ in terms of subscriber growth in H1 were Tricolor TV and Orion Express, both of which posted figures of over 4.5%. This allowed Tricolor TV to further strengthen its position as the market leader and Orion Express to move up from fifth to third place.

As of the end of June, Tricolor TV had 11.42 million subscribers, Rostelecom 8.2 million, Orion Express 2.7 million, MTS 2.68 million and ER Telecom 2.62 million.

ComNews Research notes that while subscriber growth in H1 this year and the corresponding period in 2014 was almost identical, 80% of the growth this year was accountable to Tricolor TV.