Telefónica suffers European pay TV losses

Telefonica_0Telefónica reported a 19% year-on-year decline in pay TV customers in its home market of Spain in the first quarter, blaming the country’s “adverse macroeconomic environment” and price increases due to higher VAT for the losses.

In the quarter its Spanish pay TV figures fell to 659,900 customers, compared to 710,700 in the previous quarter and 812,900 for the same three months a year earlier.

However, Telefónica said that the loss “progressively eased along the quarter,” while in April it launched an “Imagenio Familiar” promotion for €10 per month instead of €29.9 until the end of August to encourage new customers.

In Germany, where Telefonica runs the Alice IPTV business, pay TV customers were down 35% year-on-year to 51,300, while in the Czech republic Telefónica ended the quarter with 140,900 pay TV customers – up 2% year-on-year, but down on the previous quarter.

The figures resulted in an overall 17.2% year-on-year dip in pay TV customers in Europe, with Telefonica reporting 852,200 for the quarter.

However, Latin America fared better, with Telefónica reporting a 6.9% year-on-year increase in pay TV customers at 2.452 million for the quarter. Gains here were reported in Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela, though TV customer numbers fell in Brazil.

Overall, Telefónica reported net profits of €902 million in Q1, up 20.6% year-on-year. However revenues were down 8.8% at €14.1 billion, which Telefónica said mainly reflected the “negative impact of exchange rate fluctuations.”