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Spanish free DTT use declining as consumers turn to pay TV

Use of Spain’s free-to-air digital-terrestrial TV platform fell to a historical low at the end of the first quarter as consumers turned to pay TV services, according to numbers compiled by market regulator the CNMC.

The regulator calculated that the number of pay TV customers in Spain reached 6.72 million at the end of the first quarter of the year, up 631,000 in a year.

In terms of platforms, whether pay or free, some 76.6% used DTT services, while 2.8% received TV by satellite and 20.6% received cable or IPTV services. IPTV revenues were up 14.7% year-on-year, while Spain-based online TV services – excluding the main players such as HBO, Netflix and Amazon – turned in revenues of €11.9 million, up 62%

Pay TV revenues were up 6% in Q1 to €556.6 million, while free TV revenues dropped by 4.8% to €427.5 million. Total TV advertising revenues of €437.7 million included €22.4 million attributable to pay TV services. Atresmedia and Mediaset dominate the free TV sector, with a joint market share in excess of 85%.

According to the CNMC, some 89% of pay TV subscribers, or 5.97 million, took TV as part of a bundled offering.

Average consumption of TV per day stood at four hours, up seven minutes on the previous quarter. Commercial channels Telecinco and Antena 3 remain the most-watched services with 13.2% and 12.5% shares respectively.