The number of paying subscribers to Russian pay TV operator NTV+’s OTT TV platform increased by more than a third in the third quarter, and by more than half year-on-year, according to the company.
Fleshing out its achievement, NTV+ said that the OTT service net adds were growing 87% faster on a month-to-month comparison with the same period last year. It said that over 85% of subscribers were renewing their subscription for the next period.
The OTT service includes seven thematic packages spanning news, movies, kids, two sport offerings, an adult service and national channels, combining about 200 channels. It also provides access to HBO-focused streaming on-demand service Amediateka, homegrown VOD service Megogo and adult on-demand service Start. The offering includes 24-hour catch-up functionality for most channels.
News on the OTT service’s growth comes amid media speculation that Russian pay TV leader Tricolor is in talks on a possible part-acquisition by state-owned energy giant Gazprom and a merger with Gazprom-owned NTV+
The Fontanka.ru site reported that a deal could see Tricolor TV absorb NTV+ and bring on Gazprom Media Holding as a shareholder as part of a deal that could value Tricolor at RUB65 billion (€910 million).
According to the report, Tricolor, which is majority-owned by businessman Andrei Tkachenko, could sell a 49% stake in the company to Gazprom for between RUB30-36 billion or, potentially, 100% ownership for RUB65 billion.
Tricolor, which is a trading name of National Satellite Company, has a subscriber base estimated to be around four times that of NTV+ and posted revenues of RUB17.4 billion last year, with profits of RUB4.4 billion.