Global pay-TV subs growth running out of steam

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 12 January 2015

The latest informitv Multiscreen Index covering the third quarter of 2014 has revealed a pay-TV market whereby subscriber increases are waning noticeably.

multiscreen indexJanuary 2015's issue of the survey showed the leading 100 global pay-TV services in 30 countries added just 3.52 subs (1%) to their subscriber base in the third quarter of 2014. Yet, year-on-year the services added 19.18 million subscribers or 5.6%.

Almost three fifths of the leading services declared a net increase in subscribers; yet in line with other current trends many of the major cable and satellite operators in the United States lost video customers. Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cablevision and Mediacom lost over 389,000 video subscribers between them. However, these were largely offset by gains of 328,000 by the telco IPTV services of AT&T U verse and Verizon FiOS.

By contrast, among those adding the most subscribers were pay-TV providers in India and Korea were. Dish TV in India reported an additional 400,000 subscribers in the quarter. The ten services with the largest gains added 2.37 million subscribers between them. The region with the largest overall increase was Europe, Middle East and Africa, adding 2.13 million subscribers.

With the threat of online video being real and present throughout 2014, the index noted service providers addressing the threat and opportunity of online delivery by offering multiscreen services. It calculated that two-thirds of services now have some form of multiscreen offering.

"Our analysis reveals a modest gain in television subscriber numbers despite some notable losses, particularly among cable and satellite operators in the US," said Multiscreen Index editor William Cooper commenting on the survey. "The wider picture is more complex, with many operators elsewhere continuing to show growth."