Baltkom TV, the cable-TV, telecoms and ISP, reports nine month earnings jumped 87 % to LVL 1.5 million as sales rose 36 % to LVL 4.5 million. The reason for this, the company says, is a rise in the number of digital cable subscribers to almost 15 000 (up from some 10 000 in the summer, now comprising around 10 % of all subscribers). These figures make the jump in earnings unsurprising, because each digital cable subscriber generates LVL 10.50 or more per month (some, who want all 102 channels, can pay over LVL 12). This compares to an average LVL 3.00 that the Latvian cable TV association, now called the Latvian electronic communications somethingor other :) , says that the ordinary cable viewer, a pensioner whose preferred language is Russian, generally pays.
Those 100+ channels, however, include lots of narrow interest programming, such as the Wine Channel (in German?) and various Russian language programming aimed at sports fans, women, etc. There is also a channel in Korean, along with the standard selection, CNN, BBC, Discovery (language is switchable on digital cable)in all its incarnations, National Geographic, the Reality Channel, etc. Oh yes, the erotic stuff is mostly in English along the lines of oh God oh God f••k me harder... :) which comes across (no pun intended) without subtitles.
It looks like pay per view will be available soon, with recent release films, etc.
Baltkom also says that the number of triple play internet, digital cable and telephony customers is rising. The company is also competing to provide complete solutions to a number of new housing projects, claiming 100 Mbps optical internet to the home. Where do I sign up? I'll move to some former pasture in Marupe (a suburb south of Riga) for this.