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MTS loses pay TV subscribers but Russian market expands

MTS_Logo_rus_15mesh_2verRussian service provider MTS lost 12% of its pay TV subscribers last year, potentially knocking it out of the list of the top three fixed line pay TV operators in the country, according to the latest figures from iKS Consulting.

MTS had 2.58 million TV customers at the end of 2013, down from 2.94 million in 2012, according to iKS, as reported by Vedemosti.

MTS said that the fall was largely attributable to a dropping off in the number of people taking its social TV packages via collective antenna systems as the operator migrated services from analogue to digital.

According to iKS, MTS now has over 600,000 digital subscribers, triple the amount at the end of 2012, meaning that the proportion of digital subscribers in MTS’s base is higher than that of other fixed line providers.

The operator said that its TV ARPU grew over the same period.

According to iKS Consulting, the pay TV market in Russia grew by 16% last year, with total sales of RUB54 billion (€1 billion). The research group predicts that grow will slow to 11% this year as the market reaches maturity.

According to the group, satellite TV operator Tricolor TV remains the market leader with 10.1 million subscribers, growing 14% last year, followed by Rostelecom, which also grew by 14% to reach 7.51 million. ER-Telecom is now snapping at MTS’s heels with 2.57 million subscribers, up 9%, followed by satellite TV player Orion Telecom, which saw 89% growth in its base last year to reach 1.98 million. Akado and VimpelCom make up the top seven, with 1.13 million and 1.04 million TV customers respectively.