Switchover forces up Viasat costs

Julian Clover | April 22, 2009 | 15:20 UK

Viasatís operating costs increased by 12% year on year to SEK895 million as the pay-TV operator took on new channels and directed its subscriber acquisition budget towards digital switchover in Norway and Denmark.
Seven new Viasat branded channels and a further 11 new third party channels were added in 2008 and Sports rights agreements were renewed as Viasat built its local sports channels.

6,000 new premium subscribers were picked up in the three months to March 31, IPTV subs totalling 94,000 more than compensating for losses in the DTH subscriber base. The ViasatPlus PVR added 7,000 homes on the quarter to reach 122,000. The number of multiroom subscriptions now stands at 177,000.

Subscriber acquisition costs rose by 6% year on year to SEK142 million, though down from the SEK162 million of the fourth quarter. Viasat is focussing on subscriber acquisition in Denmark and Norway to take advantage of customers losing their analogue terrestrial services. Two-year standard contracts introduced at the end of Swedish digitalisation on 2006 are also beginning to mature.