Financial reports from the past few days show that incumbent carriers are growing their TV over DSL subscriber numbers at a furious pace, with Orange (NYSE: FTE) leading the way.
The French national carrier had 975,000 IPTV subscribers in France at the end of its third quarter, an increase of 138,000 (about 16 percent) from the 837,000 it had at the end of its second quarter, and more than double compared with a year ago. (See table below.)
Table 1: France Telecom's IPTV Subs Growth Mar 2006 - Sept. 2007
|At 31 March 2006||At 30 June 2006||At 30 Sept. 2006||At 31 Dec. 2006||At 31 March 2007||At 30 June 2007||At 30 Sept. 2007|
|Number of IPTV subscribers in France||229,000||306,000||421,000||577,000||745,000||837,000||975,000|
|Number of IPTV subscribers in total (all territories)||229,000||306,000||426,000||590,000||768,000||872,000||1,017,000|
|Source: France Telecom|
France Telecom had 6.9 million DSL subscribers as of September 30, so almost one in seven of its broadband customers has signed up for IPTV. It also has an additional 42,000 IPTV customers in other territories, most of which are in Poland (believed to be around 23,000) and Spain, according to the carrier.
FT's success is one of the reasons why France is far and away the single biggest IPTV market in the world. According to statistics compiled by research house Point Topic Ltd. for the Broadband Forum , there were 8.23 million IPTV subscribers in the world at the end of June this year, of which nearly 5 million were in Europe, including 2.55 million in France. (See table below.)
Table 2: Global IPTV Subscribers 2005 - 2007
|Region||H1 2005||H1 2006||H1 2007|
|Source: DSL Forum and Point Topic|
* In 2005-2006 the �Other users� category was estimated on the basis of trial information and supplier shipments; in 2007 this category has become unnecessary as official reporting has increased.
In addition to France Telecom, Iliad (Euronext: ILD) and Neuf Cegetel Group (Euronext: NEUF) are the other main players in France. At the end of June, Iliad had around 1 million customers using its TV over broadband services, and Neuf Cegetel had nearly 600,000 IPTV customers, while Telecom Italia (TIM) 's Alice France had around 60,000.
That figure for France made it the only country with more than 1 million IPTV subscribers as of June 30, with Hong Kong the second biggest single market with 938,000 telco TV subscribers at that time, and the U.S. just behind in third with 937,118.
Of the top 10 IPTV markets globally, five are in Europe, with the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Germany joining France. (See table below.)
Table 3: Top 10 IPTV Markets June 2007 by SUbscribers
|Rank||Market||IPTV subscribers at end of June 2007|
|Source: DSL Forum and Point Topic|
Other recent IPTV subscriber updates from Europe include:
Some of Europe's other main IPTV players are due to report their latest figures in the coming days. Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), which had more than 450,000 IPTV customers at the end of June, reports its third quarter results on November 12, while Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), which is on a crusade to achieve 200,000 IPTV customers by the end of the year, presents its third quarter results on November 8. (See DT Cuts Its IPTV Price.)
Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM), which had 50,000 IPTV users at the end of June makes its latest earnings presentation on November 7, Belgacom SA (Euronext: BELG), which had 190,000 IPTV customers at the end of June, reports its third quarter on November 9, while BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which is yet to provide official numbers for its BT Vision service, reports its fiscal second quarter on November 8.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading