Published: 11.36 Europe/London, April 14, 2011

The total number of pay-TV subscribers by year-end 2010 were greater than year-end 2009 by a little over 6%, according to US based research firm In-Stat.

“Nearly every region showed gains or held their own in 2010. However, cable providers were impacted, to at least some degree, by a migration to satellite and/or IPTV in virtually every region,” according to Stephanie Pickering, industry analyst. “Only Western Europe showed any gains in the total number of cable TV subscribers.”

Looking at In-Stat’s figures, we noticed that the figures for Kabel Deutschland report by the research company is higher than our figures, as supplied by the operator. Basic cable subscriptions continued to fall from 9,044,000 in 2009 to 8,929,800 in 2010. This differs from the figures in the In-Stat research, who claims and increase to 10,153,000 (up from 8,788,400 at the end of 2009). We believe these In-Stat figures to be incorrect.

According to In-Stat, China has the largest number of pay-TV subscribers with over 160 million. Shanghai Media SiTV is the largest operator; however, no other pay-TV operator has more than 5 million subscribers.

The largest regional market of IPTV subscribers is Western Europe with nearly 17.5 million subscribers, of which France has nearly 11 million, led by CanalSat (Vivendi) and Free (iliad).

AT&T went from the sixth largest IPTV operator in the world at the end of 2009 to the fourth largest in 2010.

Total subscribers end of year 2010 (2009) for the top 10 providers worldwide

Comcast – 22,802,000 (23,559,000)
DirecTV – 19,597,000 (18,560,000)
Dish Network – 14,133,000 (14,100,000)
Time Warner Cable – 12,257,000 (12,859,000)
Kabel Deutschland (KDG) – 10,153,000 (8,788,400)
BSkyB – 10,096,000 (9,708,000 )
UPC Broadband (Liberty Global) – 8,852,000 (8,996,400)
Dish TV – 8,263,000 (6,463,000 )
Tata Sky – 6,400,000
Wire & Wireless India / WWIL (Essel Group) (2009 – 6,350,000)