MTS, Bell Aliant post IPTV revenue and subscriber gains in second quarter

Canadian telcos Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) and Bell Aliant continued to gain subscribers and revenue from their nascent IPTV businesses, according to second quarter earnings announced by both companies this week.

MTS reported IPTV revenue of $20.5 million, up 4.1 percent from $19.7 million in the first quarter, driven, the company said, "by an increase in new customers, Classic TV subscribers migrating to higher-ARPU Ultimate TV (IPTV) and a price increase (but) partly offset by an increase in subscribers on promotional pricing plans." The company topped the 100,000 subscriber mark with 100,291 Ultimate and Classic TV subscribers, financial data on the company's website revealed.

At the end of the quarter, MTS said, 82 percent of its IPTV subscriber base paid for the premium Ultimate TV IPTV service. IPTV ARPU also continued to climb, albeit by only 0.2 percent, from $66.74 during the corresponding period in 2012 to $64.90 by June 30, 2013.

Bell Aliant, meanwhile, added 13,300 new customers for its FibreOP IPTV service to hit 128,800 FibreOP IPTV customers at the end of the second quarter. A portion of these new subscribers were migrations from BA's FTTN TV service, but the company still charted 11,500 net IPTV customer additions in the quarter compared to the second quarter of 2012. The company still has 22,900 non-FibreOP IPTV customers to bring its total IPTV customer base to 148,700 subscribers.

Bell Aliant's IPTV revenue grew $12 million year-over-year as part of a revenue trend that "offset declines in local and long distance revenues," said Karen Sheriff, president and CEO during in an earnings release.

Sheriff credited the gains to the company's growing FTTH footprint which, she said, now passes 725,000 residents on the way to a target of 800,000 by year-end.

"Having the best technology for the future with the best TV and Internet service at a competitive price will provide the greatest value to customers in our FibreOP markets, she said. "Continuing to add FibreOP customers is the key to our future success and that continues to be our focus."

For more:
- MTS issued this press release
- and this financial data
- Bell Aliant issued this press release

Special report: Wireline telecom earnings in the second quarter of 2013

Related articles:
IPTV helps Manitoba Telecom as legacy business declines
Pace to supply MTS with residential gateway equipment
IPTV competition has Rogers' attention in Canada
Bell Aliant adds 17,400 IPTV subscribers in fourth quarter

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