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Russian Pay TV Market in 2005-2015

18 november 2015

The Russian Pay TV market had an impressive spurt over the past 10 years and became one of the most attractive markets for investors in Europe. In accordance with the information of the J’son & Partners research agency, just over 5 million subscriber homes had paid access to cable TV services (provided mainly for analog television) in Russia in 2005. The satellite segment was represented by the single premium operator holding ca. 7% of the market, and the IPTV segment did not exist at all.

The situation began to change when digital operators came to the Russian market. In November 2005, the satellite TV provider «Tricolor TV» began its broadcasting and became a market leader in a short time. Just in several years, by June 2009, 5 million customers subscribed to services of «Tricolor TV», and the total Russian Pay TV audience was ca. 17 million subscriber homes. In 2010, this value already amounted to 24.7 million subscriber homes, and in 2011 it amounted to 28.7 million subscriber homes.

Experts state that the beginning of the wide-scale commercial use of the high-definition television (HDTV) was the reason for further growth of the Russian Pay TV market. The reasoned renewal of the stock of television equipment and availability of sufficient amount of HD content in Russian language enabled «Tricolor TV» to begin the large-scale campaign for implementation of HDTV with the advertising slogan «New Revolution» on July 24, 2012. Just in six months one million customers subscribed to the service «Tricolor TV Full HD», and by the end of 2013 this value exceeded 3 million. By that time, the Russian market included 7.1 million HD subscribers. The total number of the Pay TV users reached the value of 35 million subscriber homes.

In 2014-2015, growth rates of the Russian Pay TV market slowed down a little: this is connected, firstly, with the natural market saturation, and secondly, with the All-Russian economic downturn. Nevertheless, results of 2015 show that the number of the Pay TV subscribers is expected to come close to 40 million subscriber homes. In accordance with the information of the TelecomDaily information and research agency for the 3rd quarter of 2015, the number of users paying for services of Pay TV operators in the territory of Russia increased by 1.5 million HD subscribers. Ca. 700 thousand people became subscribers of «Tricolor TV». As of the beginning of November 2015, the total operator’s database exceeded 11.6 million subscribers, including 6 million HD subscribers.

Thus, the scope of penetration of the Pay TV services into Russia changed from 5% to 70% within 10 years. The financial returns increased six times: from 10 billion RUB in 2005 to 66.5 billion RUB in accordance with the results of 2014. In accordance with the preliminary information of J’son & Partners, the returns of Pay TV providers will decrease by 1.8 billion RUB due to the crisis of 2015 in Russia, but as early as in 2016, this value will reach its pre-crisis level.

In accordance with the forecasts of research agencies, the penetration of the Pay TV services into Russia will continue to grow, and by 2018 it will reach 75%. According to experts, high subscriber demand for HDTV channels, increase in mobile TV viewing, development of multiscreen and OTT technologies, as well as growth of the audience of thematic channels and beginning of the commercial use of the ultramodern 4K standard will be drivers for such growth.

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