Telefónica saw its global pay TV base rise in the year to December, with a strong growth in Spain, where TV is increasingly taken as part of a convergent offering, and growth in IPTV and OTT TV in Latin America offsetting DTH losses in Latin America.
Telefónica say its global pay TV base rose by 5%, or 30,000 subscribers, in the fourth quarter, taking its total to 8.9 million, with gains in Spain and its Latin American OTT TV offering being partially offset by losses elsewhere.
Video revenues for the quarter totalled €732 million, up 1.3% year-on-year. The figure for the full year was €2.881 million, up 0.5%. Video accounted for 42% of digital services revenues.
Telefóncia said growth in video customers over the full year was driven by IPTV and the addition of 900,000 active customers for its OTT TV offering Movistar Play in Latin America.
In Spain, for the full year, the telco added 244,000 TV customers, including 55,000 in Q4, up 28% on the previous year in terms of additions, taking the total Spanish pay TV base to 4.091 million. The convergent customer base was also up by 4% year-on-year and now amounts to 4.6 million, with 91% of TV customers being part of convergent packages.
Pay TV numbers were down by 1.3% in Brazil in Q4, but with a shift from satellite to IPTV helping boost pay TV revenue by 4.5%.
The operator’s Hispanic American South region was boosted by a pay TV launch in Argentina, with 30,000 additions, and by the Movistar Play offering, which had 490,000 active users in this region at the end of the year. Chile saw a decline in pay TV numbers with a shift from satellite to IPTV. In Hispanic America North, pay TV numbers rose by 3% over the year.
Separately, Telefónica has reached an agreement for the sale of its Costa Rican, Panamanian and Nicaraguan operations to regional player Millicom for a total of US$1.65 billion (€1.455 billion). Telefónica held 100% ownership of the Costa Rican operation and a 60% stake in Panama and Nicaragua, with Corporación Multi Inversiones holding the rest.
The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, completes Telefónica’s exit from Central America, following the sale of its other assets in the region to América Móvil in January.
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