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Telenor Broadcast hit by analogue radio shut-down

Telenor's Fornebu HQ

Telenor’s Fornebu HQ

Telenor Broadcast’s top-line for the third quarter was hit by the shutting down of FM broadcasting in Norway and the impact of the conversion of a wholesale contract for satellite capacity that was converged into a financial lease in the second quarter.

In January, Norway became the first country to shut down national analogue radio transmissions, after concluding that the cost of maintaining the service across a sparsely populated mountainous territory was too high to justify.

The broadcast unit’s revenues dropped by 2% year-on-year to NOK1.52 billion (€160 million). EBITDA rose by 3% to NOK555 million.

Nordic satellite pay TV unit Canal Digital’s slow decline in subscriber numbers continued. The unit lost 8,000 customers in the quarter to take its total to 843,000. However, Canal Digital revenues increased from NOK1.145 billion to NOK1.152 billion year-on-year.

Telenor’s satellite unit saw its revenues decline from NOK242 million to NOK223 million, while transmission outfit Norkring’s revenues declined from NOK279 million to NOK264 million.

Telenor Broadcast’s operating expenses fell by 7% as a result of lower sales and marketing costs for Canal Digital, reduced maintenance costs for Norkring and fewer employees.

Elsewhere, Telenor’s Norwegian fixed-line operation lost 1,000 TV customers during the quarter taking its total to 546,000. Strong TV and broadband revenues – up from NOK1.371 billion to NOK1.495 billion – contributed to top-line growth for the Norwegian unit.

In Sweden, fixed-line TV subscribers were up 8,000 to 476,000, and internet and TV revenue grew from NOK617,000 to NOK675,000.