In 2016 Tricolor TV, the major Russian operator of digital television, confirmed its leading position on the Pay TV market. The provider’s revenues increased by more than 20% year-on-year while the base of the subscribers connected to the high definition television (HDTV) increased by almost 30% reaching the mark of 8.5 mln. AS of the end of the year the total subscriber base of Tricolor TV was 12.14 mln households with the ARPU of 1,495 rbl.
In the period from 1 January till 31 December 2016 the number of subscribers of Tricolor TV digital television grew by 340,000 households from 11.8 mln to 12.14 mln subscribers. The number of new connections in 2016 was 760,000 households. The number of HD subscribers rose by 28.8% reaching the mark of 8.5 mln households. Thus, 7 out of 10 Tricolor TV subscribers watch high definition television.
The operator also demonstrates high rate of growth of the financial indicators. Compared to 2015 the annual revenues of Tricolor TV increased by over 20% from 14.85 bln rbl to 17.9 bln rbl. The annual ARPU was 1,495 rbl, which is 13.7% more than in 2015 (1,315 rbl). These indicators meet the operator’s plans for 2016. It is going to maintain the positive dynamics in 2017 as well.
The major reasons for the company’s sustainable growth are the effective innovative development strategy and the consumers’ trust in the brand. The user’s loyalty is largely accounted for by the high quality of the signal and television image. Tricolor TV is the only multistandard platform in Russia successfully developing high and superhigh definition broadcasting and using modern formats for video compression, including HEVC/H.265. Viewing of television channels in the HEVC format is already available for 1.5 mln subscribers.
The task of Tricolor TV is to provide all television viewers with high quality modern televiewing. On April 20, 2016 the operator started implementing the Program of transfer of broadcasting from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 format. Subscribers-owners of outdated equipment can participate in a specially designed action allowing transition to MPEG-4 on favorable terms. It should be recalled that since 2014 Tricolor TV jointly with technological partners has been successfully implementing the program of exchange of receiving equipment for new one supporting the HD format. The program allows substantial improvement of the quality of televiewing and 6-fold increase of the number of the channels received. In 2016 the exchange opportunity was used by 1.55 mln subscribers.
Besides, the operator has continued developing such a trend of modern televiewing as multiscreen viewing. To make it still more accessible in October 2016 Tricolor TV optimized the tariff line for multiscreen viewing. It introduced the Single Multi Light tariff, its cost being 1,500 rbl per year.
The second important criterion ensuring consumer loyalty is the high level of subscriber servicing and multichannel work of the service of support of the company’s subscribers. In 2016 Tricolor TV expanded its own proprietary retail chain four times up to 400 Sales and Service Centers and multibrand showrooms. The chain geography presently covers over 300 cities and towns throughout Russia. Support is also provided by over 4,200 authorized dealers of the company. Successful interaction with subscribers via remote communication links is provided by the single Subscriber Support Service. Since December 9, 2016 one has been able to contact the Service specialist by writing a message in the messenger (WhatsApp, Viber) or VKontakte and Facebook social networks and not only by means of the online-chat, Skype or telephone call.
Since 2015 the company has paid priority attention to additional services providing mobile and nonlinear televiewing as well as to web-resources and products working on the «second screen» principle. In 2016, for example, the company put the free Control the Air service into operation (owing to which the subscriber can record the air or put it on hold, use the Timer Recording function without connection to the Internet), renewed the Tricolor TV Cinema Halls service (to use it the subscriber does not need Internet connection and it provides the possibility of watching films on schedule in 12 cinema halls and daily receiving two new films on the external memory (flash card or HDD) connected to the receiver), launched the City and Satellite Internet services.
In 2016 the company marketed a number of products providing the maximum comfortable access of subscribers to the entertainment content. In November Tricolor TV launched the mobile version of The Tricolor TV Magazine and introduced the Film Tricolor TV online cinema hall to the public where films are available based on the distributed models: AVoD (with advertisements) and TVoD (Pay per View). The video library of the cinema has about 10,000 content units.
The operator regularly improves the content offer paying special attention to inclusion of television channels in high definition formats. In 2016, for example, the Tricolor TV packages included such television channels as TNT HD, television channels of the Match! Subholding, Mezzo and Mezzo Live HD television channels, Premium HD Cinema House, History HD, Planet HD, the television channel in Ultra HD format— Fashion One 4K, etc. (total about 50 new channels). And at the end of the year Tricolor TV launched three new HD television channels of its own design: Our Movie Novel HD, Our Detective HD, Our Favorite HD. According to the information as of December 31, 2016 269 television channels, including 48 HD format television channels, 3 UHD format channels as well as 40 radio stations are available in Tricolor TV packages for the operator’s subscribers.
Today the Russian market of pay television is following the way of qualitative changes. Further development will be related with introduction of new services and development of subscriber service channels and ARPU growth rather than with the quantity of new connections. In 2016 we both maintained the positive growth dynamics and launched a number of innovative products. The active subscriber base of Tricolor TV increased by 340 thousand households over the year, which is one of the best indicators on the market, while the base of HD subscribers reached the mark of 8.5 mln households. 70% of our subscribers (out of the 12-million base) already watch TV in the high definition format. This is a record indicator both for Russia and Europe. We plan further development of innovation technologies, introduction of new standards and services. The trend towards multiscreen and nonlinear viewing will just gain momentum in the near future and the market leader will be the operator that will be able to ensure effective delivery of the content to subscribers in all media and standards.
In 2017-2019 the strategy of Tricolor TV development presupposes still deeper penetration of interactive and hybrid services meeting the innovative understanding of television as a comprehensive media for video content dissemination. In 2017 the operator plans further development of TV-signal delivery to tablets and smartphones taking television out beyond the limits of a household. The plans of Tricolor TV also include expansion of the library of the Film Tricolor TV online cinema hall, connection of new television channels in HEVC format, expansion of the content of the Ultra HD package.
In 2016 the operator was distinguished by a number of awards. On November 25, 2016 Tricolor TV was the only European operator to receive the prize for introduction of innovative services and technologies within the frames of the International Eutelsat TV Awards. On November 24, 2016 Tricolor TV also received a Russian prize: COMNEWS AWARDS For Innovation in Development of Pay TV. In spring Tricolor TV was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for making a gigantic installation for 4,000 bird houses at the Exhibition of National Economy Achievements in Moscow. The record was documented on April 23, 2016 as the Longest continuous line forming the silhouette of a bird made from birdhouses. The event took place within the framework of the all-Russia ecological project of Tricolor TV: Let us Help Birds Together!