Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 18-07-2011

Bundling looks like the clear way for pay-TV operators to fend off the competition from cheaper TV alternatives such as OTT as a new survey from Digital TV Research has revealed that more than a quarter of the world’s TV households will subscribe to triple-play services by 2016.

The Triple-Play Forecasts report calculates that his growth will represent a total of 387 million homes, up from 96 million (7.1%) at the end of 2010. Of these 291 million additional subscribers, 147 million will be in China alone, followed by an additional 24 million in the US, 18 million more in India and 13 million extra in Russia. China will supply 44% of global 3P subs by 2016. This means that Asia Pacific’s triple play subscribers will represent 58% of the total by 2016, up from 35% in 2010.

Yet triple-play penetration will be highest in North America, reaching 46% by 2016, though growth will flatten from 2014. Triple-play revenues will reach $170 billion by 2016, nearly $100 billion more than the 2010 total. The US is set to account for half of the world’s 3P revenues by 2016 with $87 billion and almost $40 billion of the additional revenues will likely be derived from the US. By contrast Japan will likely contribute an extra $9 billion and China $8 billion more. However it should be noted that the Chinese total for 2016 is projected to be 10 times what it took in 2010.

Commented report author Simon Murray added: “Rivalry for pay-TV and broadband subscribers has never been so fierce – and it’s going to get even more competitive. Operators are pushing their bundled packages hard to attract new subscribers and to retain existing ones.

"These operators are not just competing with each other, but they also have to deal with widespread take-up of digital terrestrial TV (with its channel choice often nearly replicating the basic pay offer) and over-the-top (OTT) internet-delivered video. Furthermore, satellite TV providers are pushing newer services such as DVRs, HD and 3D to differentiate themselves from their fixed line counterparts.”