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IPTV continues to defy economic gravity in Europe

IPTV continues to compensate European Telcos for declining fixed line voice revenues as subscriber numbers and revenues increase in signs that consumers watch more TV when times are bad, providing they are not too bad.

Portugal Telecom, the country’s dominant Telco, has just reported a rise of 63,000 subs, just over 6 percent, for the first quarter of 2012, along with a 4.6-percent increase in residential revenues to €176.9 million. The rise in subs over the last whole year was 26.6 percent, reflecting strong sustained growth in subscriber numbers. Yet, Portugal is being hit by the Eurozone debt crisis with its economy expected to contract by 2 percent in 2012.

Elsewhere across southern Europe, there are signs that the increasingly severe turmoil is at last taking its toll on pay TV, with Telefonica’s Spanish IPTV service, Movistar Imagenio, losing 20,000 subs in Q1 2012 after having gained through 2011.

Over in Poland, whose economy is still growing, Internet service provider Netia had 61,800 subscribers for its hybrid IPTV/DTT service at the end of the first quarter, up 22 percent from the end of last year. The service was only launched in November 2011, based on middleware and hybrid set top boxes from French IPTV platform provider Netgem.