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Telefonica drops TV homes in Spain, relies on Latin America for growth

The recession in Spain can be brought home by a quick peek at Telefonica’s results out this week when the company tried to focus on saying how well it

By PETER WHITE

Published: 19 May, 2011

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The recession in Spain can be brought home by a quick peek at Telefonica’s results out this week when the company tried to focus on saying how well its Pay TV services were going, up 7% over the past year to 786,000 subscribers. The problem is that this is actually a fall this quarter, as was most of Spain’s pay TV for the past few quarters. Telefonica fell from 788,000, losing 2,000 IPTV customers. Across the board Telefonica revenues were up from €13.9 to €15.4 billion, impressive enough, although all the growth was from Latin America, up 26%, going through a fine economic outlook right now, while Spain fell back 5.6%.

Globally pay TV went up to 2.9 million from 2.6 million, with nearly all the growth in Latin America where it rose to almost 1.9 million up 78,000 in the quarter. The company is strongest in Peru, where it has 711,000 pay TV customers, then in Brazil with 509,000, in Chile 359,000, Colombia 217,000 and in Venezuela with 75,000.

Other pay TV reports out this week include Sky Deutschland, where a 73,000 gain for the quarter took Sky to 2.7 million. It had gross additions of 140,000, 13% ahead of last year and cut churn back to 9.9% its lowest for five years.

Sky also ramped HD now up to 1.1 million and premium packages are now at 664,000 having doubled in a year. Its ARPU is flat from last quarter however at €30.57

Total revenues jumped a massive 15% compared to 4% or 6% increases among the more traditional German cable companies. Revenues were €269.6 million in the quarter, up €35 million over this time last year. The loss for the quarter fell 15% to €55 million compared to €64.5 million a year ago. At this rate Sky Deutschland is going to make a huge dent in cable revenues there over the coming years.

As if that wasn’t enough, Sky has beaten the other pay TV operators in Germany to the OTT punch with the launch of its Sky Go service, which it says forms a core part of its TV vision in the years to come. Sky Go can be viewed in a second room, on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, or over the internet on a PC or laptop.

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