THREE TV SETS PER EACH TENTH HOUSEHOLD
The TV set is certainly among the modern technical achievements of human beings that occupy a serious part of their everyday life. According to the international research on consumer attitude - TGI, conducted in Bulgaria by the Market Test market research agency, 99% of the Bulgarians who live in towns have a TV set at their disposal. At the same time the survey shows that the number of households that own a second and even third set is growing. About 55% of the people in the towns own one TV set, 35% own two, and about 10% - three or more. The population in the Southern central economic region of the country accounts for the highest percentage of households owning one TV set - 61 per cent. In this area, just 6% of the families own three or more sets. In Southern Bulgaria, the share of citizens who own two or more TV sets is the highest one - 47.4 per cent.
Logically, as the income grows and the social status improves, so does the number of TV sets available at home. About 35% of the households with family income exceeding BGN1,000 have one set only, 44% of them own two, and 21% own three or more. The other factor that provokes the acquisition of numerous TV sets is the number of household members. That is why 95% of the one-member households logically dispose of one TV set and just 17% dispose of two or more sets.
Eighty-two per cent of the people who live in Bulgarian towns have chosen to install their TV set in the living-room, the Market Test survey shows. Twenty-four per cent of the people have a TV set in their kitchen and 24.5% - in the bedroom. The highest number of TV sets installed in kitchens is monitored among the people who live in smaller towns (with population lower than 150,000) - about 26 per cent. In Sofia, no more than 18% of the population watches TV in their kitchens. Seven per cent of the town population has installed a TV set in another room.
As of the first quarter of 2006, the percentage of households disposing of cable television has stabilized, the survey shows. In the spring of 2003, the households receiving cable TV programs at home were about 60% of the population of the towns. Market Test calculations indicate that the proportion grows in favour of the cable services by 3% on the average every season. In the spring of 2005, it was already 70:30 in favour of the cable subscribers. However, a tendency for a slight decline in the number of cable consumers has been noticed since last year. As of March 31, cable TV consumers are about 68% of the town households. At the same time, statistical figures show that nearly 3% of those living in towns possess their own satellite systems and about 1% rely on digital systems.
The least cabelized households - 68.3% - are those in the Southwestern and Southeastern economic regions, and the Northeastern is the most densely cabelized - about 72 per cent. The Northwestern region is the only one where no growth in consumption has been registered since the spring of 2003. Its has been stable at about 71% for several years now. Despite the low percentage of cabelized households in Southeastern Bulgaria, Bourgas is still the town with the biggest number of households, watching TV on cable - 80 per cent. Rousse comes next with 75.6 per cent, while Plovdiv is last among the five biggest Bulgarian towns - 60.5 per cent. Cabelized households in Sofia are 63.8 per cent.
9.7% of cable services subscribers pay for additional channels and almost 84% of the households count on the main package of programmes. 6.3% of the polled denied to answer what kind of consumers they are. Therefore, they were placed in the column of the so-called office subscribers.
The results of the research are that a considerable saturation is felt on the Bulgarian market of cable services. Competition for new subscribers and preserving the existing ones is strengthening, Market Test claims as a conclusion.Success depends on the variety and quality of programmes and on additional offers.
According to forecasts, in the future cable operators will be relying more and more on additional services such as paid programmes, paid films and paid sports events. After the elimination of BTC's monopoly many of the cable companies are already offering alternative telecom services such as a stationary telephone number and INTERNET. Others include additional services.