'Significant' IPTV growth boosts global pay-TV market

Rebecca Hawkes | 23-01-2014

Pay-TV services reached 903.3 million subscribers around the world in 2013, with IPTV services now accounting to 92 million of these, according to a new report from AMI Research.

Pay-TV generated US$249.8 billion in service revenue during the year, with $37.2 billion of this coming from IPTV operations 18.5% year-on-year growth thanks to increased fibre-delivered triple-play services, the consultancy says.

"Increasing FTTH subscriber base and bundled subscriber base of telcos are boosting the IPTV market. ABI Research forecasts that the IPTV subscriber base will grow to 161 million subscribers in 2019 accounting for 15% of overall pay-TV market," said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.

The decline in cable TV subscribers in Western Europe (-1%) and North America (-1.5%) during 2013 caused the sector to register the slowest rate of growth among pay-TV platforms. However, with cable subscriptions on the rise in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, the sector did witness 3% year-on-year growth and is forecast to reach a total of 634.5 million subscribers in 2019.

Digital terrestrial television (DTT) reached 9.5 million subscribers at the end of 2013, with Africa witnessing a 'remarkable' 45% growth rate to reach 2.1 million subscribers in 2013.

"As African countries start to switch over to digital, digital terrestrial TV has become an affordable alternative to satellite TV service in the region. ABI Research forecasts that Africa will have over 4.8 million DTT subscribers in 2019," adds Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.

The Western European DTT market, however, fell by about 5% due largely to a falling subscriber base in Italy and Spain.

The US direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV giant DirecTV remains the world leading pay-TV operator, in terms of service revenue. According to ABI, it had about 20.2 million subscribers with an ARPU above $102 by the end of the third quarter in 2013.

By 2019, the Singapore-based consultancy forecasts that the overall global pay-TV market will serve 1.1 billion subscribers and generate service revenues of $320.3 billion.