Spain: pay-TV subs fall

Spain's pay-TV market is losing ground. For the first time since the arrival of IPTV at the beginning of the new century, the number of subscribers of pay-TV operators has been reduced.

At the end of Q3, Spanish pay-TV operators had a total of 3,794,000 clients – 4,000 fewer than last June.

In the middle of Spain's debate over the introduction of payment on DTT the figures seem to question the existence of a big demand for this business.

Telefónica's DSL TV operator Imagenio, cable operator Ono and DSL TV operator Orange TV have all seen their growth diminished. In Q3, a generally positive period for television, these companies grew a meager 13,000 new subscribers in total. In particular while Imagenio and Ono grew below previous quarters Orange reduced by 6,000 subscribers to 86,000. In Telefónica's case, Q3 figures indicate its service 'Conexión' offering limited access to Imagenio (only to films and football pay per view without the option of the thematic channels) haven't had the success the company hoped for.

But more worriesome is Digital+'s situation. In the middle of its sale, the operator’s client base is not growing in spite of latest inclusions of Mediaset's national private channel Telecinco, Grupo Planeta's national private channel Antena3 and Mediapro's national private channel laSexta.

At the end of September Digital+ had 2.056 million clients a total of 17,000 fewer than in June. The operator's agressive commercial offering consisting of giving new subscriptions for free and their installations and reducing prices for subscribers who want to give up hasn't prevent it from losing business continously.