Russia’s pay-TV market added 180,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2017, which was the lowest growth rate in five years. Kommersan, a Russian daily newspaper, quoted figures produced by TelecomDaily, indicating that the Russian pay-TV market revenues for the quarter amounted to $352 million, which was a fall of 3.4% when compared to the previous quarter. This was the second year in a row that the first quarter figures experienced a percentage drop. Given the slowdown in subscriber growth, operators are now turning to the provision of interactive services such as VOD, to increase existing subscriber spend. The total number of pay-TV subscribers in Russia at of the end of the quarter, stood at 41.38 million.
The top five pay-TV operators in Russia, took over 90% of the new subscribers. Tricolor TV gained 10,000, raising its total to 12.15 million, while Rostelecom saw its base grow by 110,000 to 9.41 million and Orion gained 25,500 to reach 2.978 million. ER Telecom, also one of the top five, gained over 500,000 new customers through the acquisition of Novotelecom.
IPTV saw the strongest growth in the quarter, gaining over 100,000 subscribers, but only represents around 15% of the pay-TV market. DTH gained only 40,000 new subscribers, although the figure is expected to be higher during the upcoming summer months.