Operators to reap triple-play investments with 2018 subs revs to reach $144BN

Joseph O'Halloran | 26-11-2013

Telcos and cable operators are now cashing in on their big outlays on upgrading networks to support triple-play bundles, according to a survey from Digital TV Research.

The Triple-Play Forecasts report found that such operators will likely reap the rewards of this investment as total subscription revenues from pay-TV and on-demand services along with broadband and fixed-line telephony will increase by 65% from $124 billion in 2012 to $205 billion in 2018.

Digital TV Research forecasts that triple-play subscription revenues will reach $144 billion in 2018, up by $80 billion on the 2012 total, with triple-play revenues set to account for 70% of total subscription revenues by 2018, up from 52% in 2012 and 36% in 2008. Total triple-play subscriptions are projected to reach 333 million by 2018; up by more than 300 million since 2008, and up by 239 million on the 2012 total.

Looking at which regions will prosper, Digital TV Research found that the US will amass $60 billion of triple-play revenues, double the 2012 total, which will likely account for 42% of the world’s triple-play revenues by 2018. This though would be a significant fall compared with the 59% share in 2008. By contrast, China is forecast to will have 115 million triple-play subscribers by 2018, around a third of the global total and representing huge growth from the nine million recorded at the end of 2012.

The analyst also believes that the number of triple-play households will overtake the standalone TV total in 2016. The standalone TV total will begin to decline from 2016 as more and more homes convert to bundles. About 21% of the world’s TV households are set to subscribe to triple-play services by 2018. This would be a rise from just 7% penetration at the end of 2012 and only 2% in 2008.

Even though IPTV subscriptions are set to grow rapidly in the period, Digital TV Research expects cable to contribute nearly two-thirds of triple-play subscribers by 2018. That said, triple-play penetration is set to remain a lot higher in DSL and fibre homes (71% by 2018) than in cable homes (42%).

Commenting on the research, Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Triple-play revenues overtook standalone TV revenues in 2009. Standalone TV revenues will start falling from 2013 as subscribers defect to bundles and as cable and DSL/fibre operators offer lower-priced packages due to greater competition from other platforms.”