Now TV puts pressure on rival

The installed base of Hong Kong’s Now TV IPTV platform grew 13% over the last year, seriously oustripping i-Cable’s six-monthly one per cent growth reported 10 days ago. But Now TV still trails its established rival by over 200,000 paying subs.
Now TV “installed subscriber base” stood at 927,000 subs at the end of June, compared with i-Cable’s 892,000. But only 668,000 of Now TV’s were paying subs (although that metric rose by an impressive 19% over the year).

Those who are paying are paying much more, however, with average revenue per user up 28% from a year ago to HK$213 in June 2008. That was helped by the UEFA Euro 2008 football tournament which attracted new customers to the Mega Sports Pack. Higher ARPU was also attributed to growing demand for high value packs and high-definition premium channels.

The introduction of a set-top box with IPTV, high definition and digital-terrestrial reception capability also helped to develop new incremental revenue streams. Revenue in owner PCCW’s TV & Content division rose 45% from the previous year to HK$1,039 million. EBITDA loss further narrowed by 46% year-on-year to HK$40 million.