TelcoTV: U.S. IPTV set for double-digit growth as cable stalls

Michelle Clancy | 24-10-2012

New research from Parks Associates to be unveiled at teh upcoming TelcoTV event shows that U.S. telcos are successfully leveraging their fiber-based broadband offerings and IPTV to woo pay-TV subscribers away from cable and satellite. The research firm predicts that number of U.S. IPTV subscribers will rise from 8.8 million in 2011 to 18.6 million in 2017.

That means that its market share will rise to 18%. In the same period, satellite's share of the pay-TV market will drop to 30% by 2017, and cable, the big Kahuna, will continue to lose subscribers, declining from 60.7 million in 2011 to 56.1 million in 2017. That segment's share will fall to 52%.

Overall, Parks Associates notes U.S. subscribership to satellite and cable television services has plateaued.

"The era of huge subscriber gains in the U.S. pay-TV market is over," said Jim O'Neill, research analyst at the firm. "Cable TV providers are losing subscribers to IPTV services from AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink. Satellite providers also will experience subscriber loss as telcos continue to expand fiber footprints, leverage pricing on triple- and quad-play bundles, and offer advanced TV Everywhere products. Going forward, subscriber retention will become the focus for cable and satellite providers." Making things worse, Google has also entered the IPTV market with the deployment of Google Fiber in Kansas City.

Seeing the writing on the wall, large cable operators such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable are looking to shore up their revenue models, and are already adjusting their messaging and packages to emphasize their broadband services.

"Experiments in high-speed broadband will spawn the next wave of advanced Internet services, including new streaming and cloud-based video services," said Stuart Sikes, president at Parks Associates.