IPTV and over the top (OTT) video have begun to eat into cable TV’s dominance of the pay-TV market according to new market analysis from ABI Research.

In its report, Pay-TV Subscriber Market Data, ABI calculates that at the end of the first quarter of 2011, the pay-TV market added 11.3 million subscribers and projects that by the end of 2011, the total number of pay-TV subscriptions will exceed 759 million.

Revealingly, the data also shows that even though cable TV maintains the largest market share of the pay-TV arena, its relative share of subscriptions dipped from 72% in 2009 to 69% in 2010.

ABI recognised that cable TV operators in Western Europe and North America faced particular subs losses in 2010 as IPTV and OTT services have become viable alternatives. However it does not see cable losing too much market share in regions such as Latin America. It pinpoint Brazil as being a specific example of where cable will be successful, and quotes data from the country’s telecom regulator predicting that cable TV penetration will reach 10% in 2011.

“The emergence of digital TV in different pay-TV platforms begins to offer more choices to consumers,” noted research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn. “Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels and high definition (HDTV) channels are gaining popularity in pay-TV markets. ABI Research expects that there will be more than 230 million high-definition TV subscriptions across different platforms at the end of 2011.”