Cable Still King of Pay-TV, but Satellite and IPTV Poised for Takeover

Monday, June 25th, 2012
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CAMPBELL, Calif. — Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its latest Pay-TV Services and Subscribers report, which forecasts and analyzes the telco Internet protocol television (IPTV), cable video, and satellite video services markets.


“Cable video still makes up over half of the global pay-TV market, but revenue growth is decelerating due to a slowdown in new subscribers, especially in the lucrative North American market, as competition from satellite and IPTV operators intensifies and as OTT offerings from Netflix, Hulu, and others siphon away a small, but growing number of households,” notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research.


  • The global pay-TV market, including cable, satellite, and telco IPTV video services, totaled $261 billion in 2011 and is forecast by Infonetics to grow to $371 billion by 2016
  • North America is again the highest-value video market due to high ARPU, but Latin America and Asia are gaining ground as a result of expanding subscriber bases
    • Case in point: Mexico’s América Móvil’s pay-TV subscribers and revenue grew in the triple-digit percents in 2011 from 2010; KT’s grew in the double-digits
  • DIRECTV and Comcast remain the global market leaders for pay-TV revenue and subscribers
    • DIRECTV enjoys the highest ARPU due to the high take rate of its value-added services and premium content such as the NFL Sunday Ticket
    • Comcast is the global pay-TV subscriber leader, with over 22 million subscribers in 2011
  • In 2011, the top 20 pay-TV revenue leaders accounted for 50% of the revenue, while the top 20 subscriber leaders represented just 30% of subscribers


Infonetics’ biannual Pay-TV Services and Subscribers report provides worldwide and regional market size, service provider revenue and subscriber market share, forecasts, and in-depth analysis for telco IPTV services, analog and digital cable video, and satellite video services. The report includes pay-TV revenue and subscriber market share for Airtel, América Móvil, AT&T, Bell Canada, BSkyB, Cablevision, Canal Digital, CanalSat, Charter, Comcast, Cox, CTC, Deutsche Telekom, DIRECTV, DISHTV, DISH Network, France Télécom, Iliad, Kabel Deutschland, KPN, KT, LG, NetServiços, Oi, SaskTel, SK Telecom, Sky Television, Sky Mexico, SureWest, Tata Sky, Telefónica, Time Warner Cable, UPC Broadband (Liberty Global), Verizon, Virgin Media, and others.