Worldwide pay-TV to grow in 2011 as cable suffers

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 21-12-2011

Despite recessionary fears in the United States and Western Europe, the worldwide pay-TV market is expected to continue to grow, generating service revenues of $236 billion by the end of 2011.

According to ABI Research in its TV and Video Research Service report, the trends that have been developing over the course of 2011 will continue to develop, the research firm noted. Incumbent cable TV operators will continue to face increasing competition from IPTV and over-the-top (OTT) services. When it comes to the latter, increasing broadband penetration and the growing number of people using Internet-connected devices will continue to support subscriber growth in IPTV and OTT services.
Thus, cable will continue to lose revenue and market share, overall. "Cable TV services will still dominate the overall pay-TV market, although this segment’s market share is expected to slightly decrease from 2011," said Jason Blackwell, practice director for digital home research at ABI. "Cable TV service revenue will account for 48.6% of total pay TV revenue in 2012."
Especially in North America, where cable TV penetration is nearly saturated, cable companies are losing TV subscribers--a well-documented phenomenon. But all cable markets worldwide are not created equal.
"The continuous growth of the cable TV market in other regions will drive global cable TV revenue to increase in the coming years," said Khin Sandi Lynn, research analyst for broadband at ABI. "In the emerging markets, cable TV will be a better choice for consumers due to its relatively low pricing."
Faced with some industry macro-changes, pay-TV operators are also finding different ways to improve customer growth. Multiscreen and TV everywhere strategies that leverage devices like iPhones and iPads are one of the most recent innovations introduced in the pay-TV market, the firm said. French IPTV giant Orange, cable operator in Belgium and U.K. satellite TV operator BSkyB are all launching multiscreen services with the goal to build up better customer loyalty as well as raise average revenue per user (ARPU).