Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Minimum 120 thousand households in Bulgaria watch pay TV from an illegal provider

Pay-TV service in Bulgaria is used by 2.42 million subscribers, with 87% of them contracted with a provider, shows a national representative survey by Alpha Research, prepared by the Branch Association of Bulgarian Telecommunications Operators (BABTO). The survey was conducted in November-December 2020 in small and large settlements, Dnevnik reported.
It shows that between 120 and 314 thousand households use pay-TV from an illegal provider. Most of them receive content via IPTV boxes on the internet. BABTTO believes that adequate action is needed by both suppliers and institutions.

The study shows strong fragmentation in the market. Currently, the three major operators - Vivacom, A1 and Bulsatcom form around 66% market share. A dozen medium-sized operators occupy just over 13 percent of it. At the same time, more than 200 small operators allocate 20% of the market, none of them exceeding 1% of subscribers.

Accelerated penetration of new content streaming technologies that are displacing traditional providers is also reported. Virtually all major media companies actively develop their own platforms for direct streaming, via the Internet of their channels and content to end users, on a subscription basis.

According to the survey, their services are used by 8.75%, or nearly 170 thousand households who watch pay-TV via Internet devices, and streaming services benefit over 300 thousand households, with the greatest interest of HBO GO (6.10%), Diema Extra play (3.7%), Netflix (3%) and Voyo (2.2%).

Internet connectivity data show that 60% of Bulgarian households receive the signal via cable, 9.4% use mobile internet via a flash drive or SIM card of their phone, and another 6.2% use only internet on the phone from the mobile operator.