Satellite and IPTV operators poised to take over pay-TV market, says Infonetics

Cable TV remains the largest pay-TV platform by revenues globally, but will shortly be overtaken by satellite and IPTV competitors, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

The global pay-TV market (comprised of cable, satellite and managed IPTV services) totalled US$ 261bn in 2011, and is set to grow to US$ 371bn by 2016, the US research firm adds.

North America remains the highest-value video market due to high average revenue per user (ARPU), but Latin America and Asia are thought to be gaining ground as a result of expanding subscriber bases.

“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,” comments Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research.

US operators DirecTV and Comcast remain the global market leaders for pay-TV revenue and subscribers, with DirecTV having the highest ARPU due to the high take rate of its value-added services and premium content such as the NFL Sunday Ticket, and Comcast having the most TV subscribers with over 22mn subs.

Despite their impressive size however, the pay-TV market remains host to a large number of players: in 2011, the top 20 pay-TV revenue leaders accounted for 50% of all revenue, while the top 20 subscriber leaders represented just 30% of subscribers, according to Infonetics.

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