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TDC hit by cord-cutting as it moves to new TV strategy

Danish telco and cable operator TDC was hit hard by cord-cutting in its home market in the third quarter, with the loss of 18,000 TV customers, adding to already significant TV losses over the previous two quarters.

Revenue from TV in Denmark declined by 2.3% to DKK3.121 billion (€419 million) for the first nine months as a whole, which the telco blamed on “sustained cord-cutting”.

TDC, which operates under the YouSee brand in the Danish consumer market, has seen its TV base decline by 70,000, or 5%, year-on-year.

On a slightly brighter note, the loss in revenue due to a declining customer base was partly offset by higher ARPU, up 0.8% year-on-year thanks to the success of its Blockbuster-branded transactional VOD service. Subscription ARPU remained stable, with the loss in customers offset by higher prices.

The company’s domestic broadband base also declined slightly, hit by competition from low-cost providers.

TDC has sought to counter the factors hitting its TV base by revamping its offering, providing exclusive content and streaming services as part of its TV packages. The operator also launched a new Android TV app for multi-room viewing and announced a new flexible packaging structure for multi-play customers, including a wider range of TV options, in September.

TDC’s Norwegian arm, cable operator Get, lost 2,000 TV customers during the quarter, driven by competition and TV unbundling. Get has lost 10,000 TV subscribers year-on-year, but TV revenue for the first nine months improved thanks to price increases related to the new TV offering with streaming services, a new improved TV app and a new TV platform.

TDC said that the loss of TV customers experienced since the first quarter if this year would have a negative quarterly run-rate impact on gross profit year-on-year of DKK30 million.

Pernille Erenjberg

Pernille Erenjberg

“Q3 has been eventful and important for TDC Group, with major launches, acquisitions, insourcing and public tender decisions,” said TDC CEO Pernille Erenjberg.

“YouSee launched a new loyalty programme, YouSee More, giving customers flexible benefits depending on how many of our products they retain. We expect this programme to increase product holdings within the households, increase customer loyalty and reduce churn. YouSee also announced a new TV portfolio, positioning YouSee as both content aggregator and provider, with exclusive content for our customers and increased flexibility in the TV packages to integrate flow TV and OTT streaming. With YouSee’s new TV portfolio we are aligning our TV offerings in Denmark and Norway,” she said.

The company posted overall revenue of DKK15.224 billion for the first nine months of the year, down 2.5%, and EBITDA of DKK6.285 billion, down 2.3%.