Cable TV Platforms Struggling as 56 Million Pay TV Subscribers Added in 2010, Says ABI Research

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 
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SINGAPORE — Worldwide pay-TV subscriptions continue to increase, and the total number of subscription is forecast to exceed 745 million in 2011.

According to the most recent market data from ABI Research, there were more than 704 million pay-TV subscribers globally at the end of 2010, increased more than 56 million subscribers from 2009. “The growth rate is good in all pay-TV platforms except cable TV,” notes practice director Jason Blackwell. “High cable penetration in regions such as North America and Western Europe, and the increasing popularity of online video services, have resulted in slow growth in worldwide cable TV markets.”

The Asia-Pacific region, which owns 57% of global pay-TV subscriptions, remains the largest pay-TV market in the world. “The growing numbers of digital TV households and high speed broadband households in the Asia-Pacific region enable operators to deliver advanced pay-TV packages such as high-definition (HDTV) and IPTV that offer more options to customers,” comments research associate Khin Sandi Lynn.

In terms of subscriptions, China and India already stand in the first and second positions respectively in the worldwide pay-TV market. However the low level of pay-TV penetration in these countries creates a great opportunity to expand the subscriber base. This is not only true of China and India: Thailand’s cable and satellite TV market is likely to boom as well in coming years, due to recent government plans for regulatory changes in the broadcasting industry.

The deployment of digital television is seen as a significant development in some countries. In 2010 more than half of all pay-TV subscribers are digital TV subscribers. Launches of high-definition (HDTV) television services via a variety of pay-TV platforms are being accelerated by operators around the world. In 2011, total HDTV subscriptions are expected to reach 225 million.

ABI Research’s new Market Data product, “Pay-TV Subscriber Market Data” is updated quarterly and profiles global pay-TV subscription information. Detailed market trends and market forecast information for key regions and countries around the world are provided where available. The study is a part of the company’s TV and Video Research Service.