Cable falls as emerging markets drive pay-TV growth

Joseph O'Halloran | 20-02-2014

A study from Infonetics Research has revealed that satellite and cable additions in Latin America, China and India, added to increased IPTV subscribers in China, are forming the engine of the global pay-TV market.

The company’s Pay TV Subscriber Database by Provider found a decline in cable subscribers across all operators, attributable more to churn than cord-cutting, with subs heading to IPTV and satellite, often to take advantage of promotional offers. The company used the prime example of Comcast, the world's leading provider of cable TV services, which lost 355,000 subscribers over four quarters, with 21.6 million subscribers as of Q313.

By contrast, the report shows that satellite providers were enjoying success. In the third quarter of 2013, DirecTV Latin America saw a 15% increase year-over-year in satellite subscribers, leading to it ranking third in the list of DTH providers. The global top five by subscribers are DirecTV US, DISH Network, DirecTV Latin America, Tata Sky and BSkyB. AT&T, China Telecom, Iliad Group, Orange, and Verizon were the equivalent IPTV leaders.

Commenting on the trends revealed, Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay-TV at Infonetics Research, said: “Latin America's economy, in particular, is performing well, with companies investing in Brazil ahead of the FIFA World Cup and consumers signing up for pay-TV services to the tune of 9% growth in the third quarter of 2013 from the year-ago period.”

Read more: Cable falls as emerging markets drive pay-TV growth | Rapid TV News