Global digital TV conversion almost complete by 2020

May 13, 2014 21.12 Europe/London By Broadband TV News Correspondent

Based on forecasts for 138 countries, the number of digital TV homes will increase by more than 1 billion between 2010 and 2020 to 1.68 billion – or up by 185%, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. The Digital TV World Household Forecasts report estimates that the digital TV total will climb by 131 million in 2014 alone.

Global TV homes

Global digital TV penetration will reach 97.9% of television households by end-2020, up from 40.5% at end-2010 and 67.7% at end-2014. By 2020, 94 countries will be completely digital compared with only 12 at end-2013. About 124 countries will have more than 90% digital penetration by 2020.

Of the 762 million digital TV homes to be added between 2013 and 2020, 258 million will come from digital cable. Primary FTA DTT [homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV] will acquire an additional 292 million. Pay IPTV will more than double to 191 million, with pay DTH up by 79 million.

Digital cable will become the most popular TV platform in 2014, accounting for 33.6% of the world’s TV households in 2020 (up from 20.9% in 2013). Digital cable TV penetration will exceed 50% of TV households in nine countries by 2020, with Belgium leading at 64.9%.

Pay IPTV penetration will climb to 11.1% by 2020, up from only 2.5% at end-2010. IPTV penetration will exceed 20% of TV households in 20 countries in 2020; led by Iceland (68.2%). Pay digital satellite TV penetration will be 15.8% by 2020. Penetration will exceed 30% of TV households in 19 countries, including South Africa (58.5%).

About 26.4% of homes will be primary FTA DTT at end-2020, up from 10.5% in 2013. By 2020, FTA DTT penetration will exceed more than half the TV households in 41 countries. The Sub-Saharan Africa countries will be especially prominent, led by Mali at 82.4% and Niger at 82.0%. However, FTA DTT penetration will fall in 24 countries between 2013 and 2020 as homes are lured away to other platforms.

The number of digital TV households in Asia Pacific will more than double between 2013 and 2020, with 88 million added in 2014 alone. The region will supply 501 million (66%) of the 762 million digital TV household additions between 2013 and 2020. Sub-Saharan Africa will more than triple its base over the same period.

China became the largest digital TV household nation in 2010, and will boast 460 million digital homes by end-2020 – or 27% of the global total – up by 225 million on 2013. India will add 118 million digital TV homes between 2013 and 2020. India will overtake the US to take second place in 2015.

Brazil will take fourth place and Russia fifth by 2020 – both of which will more than double their digital TV totals. Watch out for Indonesia, which will leap to seventh place, by adding 42 million digital TV households.