Pay-TV rev growth stalls but satellite gets into higher orbit than cable
Editor | 19-06-2013

Combined DTH and DBS revenues will see satellite soar past cable, according to a new 97-country survey by Digital TV Research.

Overall, the Digital TV World Revenue Forecasts report casts the gloomy conclusion that fast growth years for pay-TV are over, with annual growth in 2013 being round the 3% mark, falling to 2% by 2015. That said, it also predicts a lot of strong business to be done in this period with global pay-TV revenues, including subscription fees and on-demand movies and TV episodes, set to reach $203 billion in 2018, up by $19 billion on 2012.

Total pay-TV revenues are likely to fall in 14 countries by the end of 2013, with revenues declining for 15 countries between 2012 and 2018. The bulk of the fast-growing nations will likely be in Africa, but the US will remain the world's largest pay-TV revenue earner but with revenues declining by $5.1 billion between 2012 and 2018 as homes convert to bundles and as competition forces down prices.

The analyst predicts that satellite TV will account for 45.9% of total revenues by the end of 2013, rising to 47.6% by 2018. DTH revenues are expected to reach $97 billion in 2018, up from $83 billion in 2012, with the US remaining market leader, though its share of the total will fall from 43.5% in 2012 to 38.7% in 2018. Brazil is set to add the most DTH revenues ($3.5 billion) between 2012 and 2018. Fellow BRIC India is also expected to show strong growth, with its DTH revenues climbing by 135%, $2.2 billion in the same period.

Despite huge activity in the European sector, not least through the aggressive acquisition spree by Liberty Global, cable's share is set to drop from 45.9% in 2013 to 40.7%. The data showed that global cable TV revenues peaked in 2012 at $86.9 billion, and will fall to $82.6 billion in 2018. Even though it calculates cable TV revenues will drop by $8.3 billion in the 2012-2018 period, the analyst believes that operators can gain extra revenues by converting subscribers to bundles.

In the same time frame, Digital TV Research believes that IPTV will emerge as the fastest growing platform with revenues climbing from 7.5% in 2013 to 10.5% by 2018.