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France Telecom continues pay TV strength, others flat or worse

France Telecom continues to steam through as one of the key leaders of IPTV right across Europe with France as the pay TV bastion of Europe as well, w


Published: 5 May, 2011


France Telecom continues to steam through as one of the key leaders of IPTV right across Europe with France as the pay TV bastion of Europe as well, where up until the end of 2010 France boasted 25.3 million pay TV contracts and still rising.

France Telecom said this week that its share of pay TV customers rose from 3.4 million to 4.4 million in a year, with a rise of 28% in France to 3.71 million pay TV homes there, and an even faster rise in Poland where it reached 577,000 pay TV homes, a split between IPTV and satellite, a rise of 38% in a year.

In France in absolute numbers the additions were 206,000 compared with a rise last quarter of 275,000, so perhaps it is slowing down gradually. In Poland, its only other strong pay TV country, it put on 80,000 customers in one quarter, a rise of 16%, so here it appears to be speeding up if anything.

Telenor, one of the major telcos in Europe, has also reported its Q1 numbers and in revenue terms it was up 7.8% mostly on its cellular and international activity, but the part we watch in pay TV was mostly down a fraction. Its Canal Digital satellite TV service which is distributed across Scandinavia was down from last quarter numbers to 986,000 customers from 997,000, and in cable it was up, although only mildly.

In Sweden in cable Telenor lost 2,000 customers to 199,000 since last quarter, while in Denmark it held its ground at 32,000 and in Norway it rose cable customers to 502,000 from 488,000. TV ARPU was virtually constant at €230.

At Swisscom IPTV pay customers, were up to 469,000 from 431,000 last quarter and just 265,000 a year earlier. Revenues across the whole company were down 3.1%, but it had a 26% rise in net income.

In the US, cableco Charter came out with its first quarter numbers growing revenues at just 2% to $1.8 billion, and showing a loss of $110 million for the quarter. ARPU rose 8.2% year-over-year to $131, driven by an increase in bundle and advanced video service penetration, with TV ARPU up just 4.3% to $71. It now has 4.3 million video customers, which fell by 25,100. Naturally there was an increase in the number of digital customers, but even this wasn’t impressive at just 28,400 and digital penetration is now 75.4% with 54% of digital customers taking HD or DVR services. Internet customers grew by 87,900 during the quarter.


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