Worldwide pay-TV market to be worth $236 BN by end of 2012

Joseph O'Halloran | 24-10-2012

A major study of theworldwide pay-TV arena has found that the market is growing on all major TV platforms worldwide, including cable, satellite and IPTV, and is expected to be worth $236 billion by the end of 2012, up from $223 billion in 2011.

Furthermore, ABI Research’s pay-TV Market Data report expects the pay-TV market to continue to grow 19% over the next five years, generating $281 billion by the end of 2017. In terms of where the growth is likely, even though North American cable TV operators have experienced drops in their subscriber base over the past few quarters, losing market share to both satellite and IPTV providers, the platform will maintain the largest share of the market through 2017. By marked contrast, pay terrestrial TV services look set for a fall. As an exemplar of this trend, ABI points to the fact that the French pay-TV platform TV Numeric is in receivership and likely to close at the end of the year.

“Growth in satellite and IPTV services in North America comes at the expense of cable. This competitive shift, coupled with a small drop in pay-TV penetration, lead cable TV revenues to fall about 1% in 2012 despite a small increase in ARPU. Global cable TV service revenue market-share is expected to drop to 47% in 2012 from 48% in 2011,” explained ABI’s Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director of core forecasting.

Looking at particular examples of companies to watch, ABI cited DirecTV which topped its global satellite TV market share ranking, both in terms of subscriber base and service revenue, at the end of Q2 2012. The provider experienced ARPU growth in the US as a result of higher penetration in premium packages and saw significant subscriber and revenue growth in Latin America. That said, the operator’s ARPU fell slightly as more customers chose less expensive packages.