The ZON Multimedia business group is listed on the main Portuguese stock market index, the PSI-20. It leads the market in pay TV in Portugal and is the second largest internet provider. Nationally, it is also leader of the cinema market.
The origins and development of ZON are intertwined with the genesis and growth of the mass entertainment and telecommunications industries in Portugal.
The invention of the telephone in the 19th Century, of cinema in the early 20th Century, of television in the second half of the same century and, some time later, of the internet are all strands in the story of what has become the large business group that is ZON today.
From 1999 onwards, TV Cabo, then part of the incumbent operator, was quick to respond to the increasing demand for telecommunications services and entertainment. It soon became the leading distributor of television to the home and later the first internet operator to offer a broadband service.The history of some of the oldest distribution companies and film heritage is now part of ZON giving it a privileged relationship with the main providers of audiovisual content.
In 2008, after TV Cabo had split off from the incumbent operator, ZON Multimedia first appeared as an independent brand. The change in name reflected the arrival of a new customer-centred organisation. With new business and engineering processes, ZON transformed itself into a provider of high quality integrated services, both inside and outside the home and for businesses. The rich history of some of Portugal’s oldest cinema distribution and exhibition businesses, now part of ZON’s corporate heritage, means that it is able to take advantage of its privileged relationship with many of the main suppliers of audiovisual contents.
Today, ZON Multimedia, as an operator, has around 1.6 million customers. ZON operates the largest New Generation Network in Portugal, reaching over three million homes. ZON is also the second largest provider of internet and fixed voice with 790 thousand customers and 976 thousand, respectively, at the end of 2012. Its digital satellite platform allows it to offer coverage to the whole country. Its 210 cinemas make up the largest network in the country and attract almost ten million cinema-goers a year.
The architecture of the ZON brand illustrates the group’s growth: TVCabo, ZON Lusomundo Cinemas, ZON Audiovisuais, ZON Conteúdos, ZON Madeira and ZON Açores. ZON holds a 50% shareholding in Dreamia and 25% in SportTV. Today, ZON Multimedia and its affiliates have approximately 1,600 employees.
This solid operating base, internationally recognised for its know-how and ability to adapt across a range of markets, is the foundation stone for ZON’s internationalisation strategy. In 2010, its expansion plans were given a hefty boost with the setting up of its ZAP joint venture for the provision of subscription TV services via satellite to the Angolan market. This service has recently been extended to include Mozambique.
To know more about the history of the ZON group: “Impactos ZON na Economia Portuguesa” (Impacts of ZON on the Portuguese Economy), a book in Portuguese (ZON Multimédia 2011), PDF available here. A hard cover copy of the book may be obtained on demand to firstname.lastname@example.org