Tricolor TV added over a third of a million homes in 2016, increasing its total to 12.14 million active subscribers in Russia. The National Satellite Company, which operates under the Tricolor TV brand, claims to have overtaken Sky in the United Kingdom and Ireland in terms of television customer numbers. It now has its sights set on surpassing Dish Network in the United States.

Tricolor TV gained 140,000 subscribers in the last quarter of 2016. Over the year, Tricolor TV saw 760,000 new connections and increased its subscriber base by 340,000 to 12.14 million, with 8.5 million or 70% taking high-definition services. It offers around 270 channels, including 48 in HD and 3 in UHD.

Annual income increased by 20% compared to the previous year, to 17.90 billion rubles, with an annual average revenue per user of 1495 rubles, up by over 13% on the previous year.

The company now has a network of around 400 of its own branded sales centres in more than 300 cities across Russia, supported by more than 4,000 dealers.

Alexei Kholodov, the chief executive of Tricolor TV, said the focus was now not so much on new connections but on the introduction of new services and technologies, improving services and increasing customer loyalty. He said the trend towards multiscreen and non-linear viewing will only gain momentum and the market-leading operator needs to provide efficient delivery of programming to subscribers in all environments and standards.

The company plans to develop further the delivery of television to tablets and smartphones, expand its Kino Tricolor TV online movie service, add new channels in HEVC format and expand its Ultra HD offering.

It now claims to be the fifth largest satellite television provider in the world on the basis that it has more subscribers than Sky in the United Kingdom and Ireland, citing numbers from IHS Screen Digest.

Sky reports 12.65 million customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, although its television customer base is 11.45 million, including NOW TV customers. However, Sky has 22.32 million customers across Europe, making it the second largest group in the informitv Multiscreen Index, after AT&T.

The Multiscreen Index places Tricolor TV seventh in the world among satellite television services, behind DIRECTV and DISH Network in the United States, Sky in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Dish TV, Videocon d2h and Airtel Digital TV in India. Overall, Tricolour sits just outside the top ten pay-television services worldwide by subscriber numbers.

Nevertheless, Tricolor TV has made impressive subscriber gains, up from 10.92 million at the end of 2014, through 11.80 million at the end of 2015 to 12.14 million at the close of 2016.

It is now the largest television operator in Russia in terms of subscribers, with 29.6 of the market, followed by Rostelecom with 22.3%, ER-Telecom with 7.3%, Orion with 7.2% and MTS with 7.0%. There are now over 40 million pay-television subscribers in Russia.