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Satellite broadcasters lose orbit – Kommersant newspaper № 58 (7259) from 04/05/2022

Tricolor, which accounts for more than 70% of the satellite TV market in Russia, has proposed extending support measures to telecom operators to satellite broadcasters. According to the company, the direct losses of market participants in 2022 due to rising costs for the rental of satellite capacity and modernization of equipment will exceed 4 billion rubles. The fact is that the calculations for satellite capacity are in euros. If the state does not extend support measures to satellite operators, they will have to reduce the number of channels in packages, as well as raise prices by at least 10-30%.

Kommersant has read a letter from Elena Polozova, director general of the Tricolor satellite operator, to the government, the State Duma and the Ministry of Finance on March 29. It proposes to extend state support measures for IT and telecom markets to satellite operators.

According to Tricolor, their direct losses in 2022 due to rising costs for the rental of satellite containers and modernization of equipment will exceed 4 billion rubles.

Among the measures that Tricolor asked to extend to operators are the mechanism of fair indexation of tariffs, preferential lending at a rate of not more than 3%, zeroing of property tax, reduction of insurance premiums, moratorium on contributions to the universal service reserve and scheduled inspections. Kommersant, March 19). The Ministry of Education said it had received a letter and was studying the proposals.

Kirill Makhnovsky, general director of the Orion Group, told Kommersant that he supported the Tricolor initiative. He noted that television in Russia has an important social function, being the most accessible and inexpensive entertainment for Russians:

“It is difficult to compensate for the financial losses incurred by operators by raising tariffs in the current situation. In this regard, the support of the industry by the state is definitely needed. “

MTS (which provides satellite TV services) and Rostelecom (which owns 100% of the RTKOMM satellite operator) declined to comment. NTV Plus did not respond to a request.

According to TMT Consulting, the volume of the satellite TV market in Russia in 2021 decreased by 2.4% to 24.7 billion rubles. The number of households connected to satellite broadcasting increased by 0.2% to 17.2 million. Tricolor’s market share in terms of subscribers was 71%, another 18% was occupied by Orion (Telecard brand) and 6% MTS. The share of NTV Plus in 2021 was 5%.

Tricolor and NTV Plus broadcast Express-AMU1 on frequencies, some of which belong to the French operator Eutelsat, explained Ka-Internet shareholder Sergei Pekhterev: capacities, as the calculation is made in euros. ” In addition, the Russian manufacturer GS Group, which assembles consoles for “Tricolor”, receives components from China, also for foreign exchange, the expert added. According to him, Tricolor cannot simply raise the cost of services in proportion to the increased costs, as this will lead to an outflow of subscribers. In addition, satellite TV is used by people from remote settlements and with low incomes, said Sergei Pekhterev.

Satellite operators pay for foreign content and TV channels in foreign currency, so the fall of the ruble will affect them very much, added TelecomDaily CEO Denis Kuskov.

According to him, satellite operators have the lowest average check among all pay-TV providers: “This is the most affordable way to watch television for residents of regions of the country.” But it also makes satellite broadcasters more sensitive to changes in market conditions, said Denis Kuskov. According to him, if the state does not extend support measures to them, most likely, they will have to reduce the number of channels in packages, as well as raise prices by at least 10-30%.

Anastasia Gavrilyuk

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