11 MAR 2024

Portugal: Pay-TV subscribers reach 4.6 million and growth slows down

There are 107 thousand more subscribers than in the same quarter last year. On the other hand, it is the lowest annual growth (+2.4%) since the end of 2013.

11 MAR 2024

  • Facebook
  • X
  • Linkedin
  • Whatsapp

ANACOM, the National Communications Authority of Portugal, released figures regarding the PAY TV signal distribution service for the third quarter of 2023. The subscribers reached 4.6 million, representing an increase of 107 thousand compared to the previous period. However, the growth rate is the lowest in a decade: +2.4%. This latest fact is related to the current situation where the vast majority of households had PTV (97.8%).

Let's now examine the current situation in detail. Firstly, fibre to the home accounts for 63% of PTV subscribers. This implies that the growth in services was propelled by fibre-based services (FTTH/B), reaching 2.9 million customers, which is 212 thousand more than in the same quarter last year (+7.9%). This growth is not only attributed to new customers but also to those who were previously supported by other networks and switched to FTTH/B. The number of PTV subscribers supported by optical fiber recorded the lowest annual growth (+7.9%) since the emergence of this technology in 2007. It's worth noting that since 2018, FTTH/B has been the primary form of access to this service. As of the end of 3Q2023, FTTH/B accounted for 63.2% of total subscribers.

Secondly, residential PTV subscribers constitute 89% of the total. The number of residential subscribers to the PTV distribution service reached 4.0 million, showing an increase of 78 thousand (+2.0%) compared to the same quarter last year, representing 88.7% of the total. In contrast, in the non-residential sector, there was a significant growth rate: the number of subscribers amounted to 514 thousand, representing 11.3% of the total, and was 6.1% higher than in the same quarter last year. 

FInally, how are the providers' subscriber shares distributed? At the end of 3Q2023, MEO was the operator with the highest share of PTV distribution service subscribers (41.4%), followed by the NOS Group (36.5%), Vodafone (19.1%) and NOWO (2.8%). MEO and Vodafone were the operators that attracted the most subscribers in net terms compared to the same quarter last year, with their shares increasing by 0.5 p.p. and 0.4 p.p. respectively. On the other hand, the shares of the NOS group (-0.6 p.p.) and NOWO (-0.2 p.p.) decreased.

In the residential segment, MEO had the largest share (39.9%), followed by the NOS Group (37.7%), Vodafone (19.3%) and NOWO (3.1%). The shares of MEO and Vodafone increased (+0.5 p.p. and +0.4 p.p. respectively), while those of Grupo NOS and NOWO decreased (-0.6 p.p. and -0.2 p.p. respectively). Concentration remains high and has slightly increased compared to the same period in the previous year. Between 2013 and 2022, there was a downward trend in concentration following the launch of Vodafone’s triple-play offer supported by FTTH/B, which has gradually eased since 2015.