Global pay-TV industry adds 20MN subs in a year
Joseph O'Halloran
| 01 September 2014
The world's leading pay-TV providers are continuing to fend off the threat from over-the-top (OTT) rivals according to the latest informitv Multiscreen Index.

multiscreen indexThe survey found that in the second quarter of 2014 the number of digital video subscribers to the 100 leading pay-TV services rose by 5.24 million, an increase of 1.6%. This meant that the leading TV players added 20.29 million subscribers in the 12 months to the middle of 2014, a 6% rise. The increase was higher than in the first quarter of 2014, when the leaders added 4.71 million subscribers, up by 1.4%.

Furthermore the ten services with the most subscribers gained 1.14 million between them in the three months to the end of June, compared to 1.21 million the previous quarter. The ten services with the greatest gains also added over three million subscribers between them in the second quarter, while the ten with the largest losses shed just over 800,000.

Looking at where most gains were located, the survey found that satellite services added 2.13 million subscribers worldwide, just ahead of telco television operators which added 2.07 million, while losses in the US reduced the gains for cable to 0.75 million.

Highlights of the quarter included Telefónica España reporting 479,000 net subscriber additions, reflecting a refreshed Movistar Fusión TV multiscreen offer while the largest loss was for Japan's Sky PerfecTV! which lost 260,000 subscribers following the closure of its standard definition service. Comcast and Time Warner Cable lost 296,000 video customers and Dish Network and DIRECTV lost 78,000, while AT&T and Verizon added 289,000. With further losses from Charter, Cablevision, Mediacom and Suddenlink, the top ten US services lost 165,500 video customers but losses in the seasonally weak second quarter were down on previous years and represent just 0.2% of their combined subscriber base. Year-on-year, subscriber gains by telco and satellite services exceeded the losses from the main cable companies.

Regionally, Asia Pacific region saw the largest increase, with 2.18 million additional subscribers. There was also strong growth in India, with Dish TV, Airtel, Hathway, DEN Networks and Reliance adding 1.15 million video subscribers between them in three months.

"The Multiscreen Index shows continued worldwide growth in subscription television services, despite losses among operators in the United States," said report editor William Cooper commenting on the results. "America remains the most valuable market, and revenues continue to rise, but the opportunities for subscriber growth lie elsewhere."