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Russia’s Beeline sees boost from TV as COVID-19 hits mobile

Russian service provider Veon, which operates the Beeline brand, saw its TV subscriber base jump by over half in the year to June 30, taking it to over 2.3 million subscribers.

Kaan Terzioglu

Speaking to analysts after the company posted its quarterly results, Co-CEO Kaan Terzioglu said that Veon’s Beeline digital TV customer base was “now 50% larger than in Q2 last year” in line with growth in other digital services.

Despite success in attracting new users to its TV service, Beeline saw its overall subscriber base fall by 8.4%, impacted by lower mobile customers.

Terzioglu said that the Beeline business in Russia had been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the lockdown depriving the company of in-store sales and roaming revenues.

The pandemic saw a shift from mobile to fixed revenues for the company. Mobile revenue fell by 9.8% in the second quarter, while fixed revenue rose by 8.9%, boosted by digital services including TV.

Veon also said that TV was helping drive uptake of new services in Ukraine, where the group owns mobile telco Kyivstar. The latter’s CEO, Oleksandr Komarov, said that fixed broadband internet services had now passed one million subscribers, boosted by the bundling of services including mobile connectivity and television in a single bill.

Veon posted overall revenues of US$1.9 billion, down 16.3%, while EBITDA was US$809 million, down 18.7%.