Pay-TV tipping point as satellite revs to surpass cable in 2015

DetailsEditor | 13 May 2015

A pay-TV tipping point will be reached by the end of 2015 when combined DTH and DBS satellite TV revenues will overtake those from cable TV says a report from Digital TV Research.

The Digital TV World Revenue Forecasts report estimates that satellite TV accounted for 44% of the total in 2014, and will rise to 46% by 2020, but that analogue and digital cable TV revenues will drop from 46% of the total in 2014 to 40% in 2020. In the same period IPTV will be the fastest growing platform, climbing from a 10% share in 2014 to 13% by 2020.

At this time the analyst calculates that satellite TV revenues will reach $94.8 billion with the US remaining the leading global market region, followed by Brazil, worth $6.8 billion. India will likely have added the most satellite TV revenues ($2.5 billion), moving from tenth to fifth place) between 2014 and 2020. However, the US will fall by $421 million, Canada by $805 million and France by $232 million.

Digital TV Research believes that global cable TV revenues peaked at $93.8 billion in 2012, and will fall to $81.9 billion in 2020. However, it does expect cable operators to gain extra revenues by converting subscribers to bundles. Despite the analogue market plummeting, digital cable TV revenues are projected to climb by 5.6% from $76.1 billion in 2014 to $80.3 billion in 2020. Digital cable TV revenues in the US are set fall by $8.9 billion between 2014 and 2020 to $34.1 billion. Indeed digital cable TV revenues will likely drop in 20 countries over the same period.

Overall pay-TV revenues are forecast to more than double in 33 countries between 2014 and 2020. India's revenues will climb by $4.7 billion between 2014 and 2020, with China up by $1.6 billion and Japan increasing by $1.1 billion. Global pay-TV revenues, including subscription fees and on-demand movies and TV episodes, are predicted to only grow by 2.6% between 2014 and 2020 to $207 billion. This follows 14.5% growth between 2010 and 2014.

Total revenues in North America will likely fall by 11.7% (or $12 billion) between 2014 and 2020. Western Europe will be flat at $32 billion. By contrast revenues should grow by nearly $10 billion (up by 30%) in the Asia Pacific region to $42 billion. The analyst sees Asia Pacific overtaking Western Europe in 2015, and being larger than the whole of Europe by 2019. Latin America will likely add a further $2.6 billion (up by 13%) between 2014 and 2020.