SK Telecom claims top spot for IPTV growth

South Korea’s SK Telecom had 9.401 million pay TV customers at the end of March, up 0.8% quarter-on-quarter and up 3.4% year-on-year, with growth in IPTV numbers offsetting a small loss in legacy cable TV. The company said it had achieved the highest IPTV growth rate in the market.

The telco’s IPTV base grew by 1.3% over the quarter and was up 5.5% year-on-year. The cable TV base was down 0.3% on the quarter, and down 1.4% compared with the prior year, to 2.809 million.

Broadband subs were up 0.8% on the quarter to 6.757 million, while total mobile subs were up 0.5% to 33.01 million.

Consolidated revenue for Q1 was up 2.2% year-on-year to KRW4.4 trillion. Attributed to 5G and pay TV subscriber growth as well as an uptick in B2B revenue.

Operating income was up 14.4% to KRW 494.8 billion.

Pay TV revenue increased by 0.3% to KRW472 billion.

The company’s overall media business grew significantly in the quarter, it said, with revenue increasing by more than 10% year-on-year to KRW393.2 billion. The overall media business, including content, advertising, and commerce, achieved growth based on SKT’s strength in the fixed and mobile market, the company said.

SK plans to continue strengthen its competitiveness in the media business by using AI technologies.

it has set out a goal of transforming itself into “an AI company”, banking on the impact of AI innovation across five areas: in customers and technology, time and space, industrial transformation, core business model and ESG.

In April it made a KRW15 billion equity investment in Scatter Lab, a startup known for its Lee Lu-da chatbot, and entered into strategic partnership with the firm. SKT and Scatter Lab will cooperate in diverse AI-related areas.

“We will do our best to ensure that transformation into an AI company will lead to maximization of corporate value and shareholder value,” said Kim Jin-won, chief financial officer.

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