Spain: DTT viewing passes pay-TV's

Spain's DTT audience grew 1.9 percentage points in November, reaching 20.2% of total TV consumption and for the first time surpassing the pay-TV audience, which stood at 19.2% of total TV consumption.

Five regions already have DTT viewing above 20% - Madrid, Cataluña, Comunidad Valenciana, Canarias and Andalucía.

According to the latest report from Impulsa TDT (the national association for DTT promotion), Spain's DTT penetration has doubled in a year passing from 23.4% in December 2007 to 45.2% now. There are over 7 million homes with 18 million people receiving the new television. As a result of this there are already 9.3 million people daily watching DTT channels with a growth of 3.2 million viewers over the last three months.

Adding the homes watching DTT channels through the pay TV operators, penetration goes up to 58%, meaning there are more than 9 million homes or 23 million people having now access to the new television.

However the report underlines the fact those homes with just one DTT box being distributed by the pay-TV operator on a rental basis would give up watching DTT if they stopped paying that pay TV operator.

On December 31 the DTT Extension Plan's 'Phase 4' ends, meaning the DTT signal will reach 90% of Spain's population with a potential growth of around 160,000 homes.

Adding to these good figures there's the impressive sales of DTT boxes, either external or integrated. In October, the report says, more than 675,000 digital boxes were sold of which 358,000 were flat-panel sets with DTT tuner integrated. And in the next few weeks, Impulsa TDT forecasts the constant reduction of prices in all DTT equipment versions, the next Christmas season and the government’s present DTT advertising campaign will mean "excellent" sales which could reach 15 million receivers sold.

Nevertheless there are still 65,000 buildings to be digitally adapted.