Pay TV Revenue Will Grow 7% to Exceed $312 Billion in 2010, Says ABI Research

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
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SINGAPORE — Pay TV market growth slowed in 2009 due to the recession. However, 2010 is expected to be a better year as operators have been signing up new subscribers, and existing subscribers are migrating to premium channels and advanced services. “As a result of the positive market outlook for pay TV,” says ABI Research practice director Jason Blackwell, “global pay TV revenue will net more than $312 billion for cable and telecom carriers in 2010.”

Among the different pay TV platforms, telco TV service revenue is growing the fastest as broadband penetration and Internet speeds ramp up. For example, Deutsche Telekom’s IPTV subscriber base essentially doubled within a year, to one million. As fiber broadband deployment expands its footprint, operators will have the opportunity to offer High Definition IPTV that should help to boost ARPU and service revenue. ABI Research anticipates that telco TV service revenue will top $17 billion in 2010.

In terms of telco TV service revenue, Western Europe captures the largest market share with 59%. North America and Asia Pacific are the second and third largest telco TV markets. In the Asia Pacific region, telco TV service revenue is expected to grow rapidly during the next few years. In 2009, Asia Pacific telco TV service revenue comprised 10% of the total market, and it is expected to achieve 25% by 2015.

Pay TV operators are competing to raise ARPU and lower churn. Many operators are upgrading programming packages and steadily introducing high definition TV services. “Pay TV operators need to aggressively promote the purchase of HDTV set top boxes in order to lift ARPU,” notes Research Associate Khin Sandi Lynn. “This does not have to come through subsidies. Carriers could do a better job of promoting the benefits of HD for the end-user viewing experience. Furthermore there is the promise of 3D TV. At present many users are not clear what the benefits are.”

ABI Research has recently completed a quarterly update of its “Pay-TV ARPU and Revenue Database” which provides historical and forecast data for ARPU, and service revenue forecasts for satellite, cable and telco TV.

The study is a part of the company’s Digital Media Research Service.