Global pay-TV market to hit US$ 236bn this year

The worldwide pay-TV market is growing across all major platforms, including cable, satellite and IPTV, according to US firm ABI Research, which predicts that service revenues will increase from US$ 223bn in 2011 to US$ 236bn this year.

This solid run of growth looks set to continue over the next five years, with revenues predicted to rise 19% to reach US$ 281bn in 2017.

Cable is expected to retain the lion’s share of pay-TV revenues worldwide, although it will likely lose market share to both satellite and IPTV, says the research firm.

Pay terrestrial TV services are described as “losing steam” with a small drop in revenues through 2017, and many North American cable operators have also experienced falls in their subscriber bases over the past few quarters.

“Growth in satellite and IPTV services in North America comes at the expense of cable,” said Jake Saunders, Vice President and practice director of core forecasting at ABI Research.

“This competitive shift, coupled with a small drop in pay-TV penetration, will lead cable-TV revenues to fall about 1% in 2012 despite a small increase in ARPU. Global cable-TV service revenue market-share is expected to drop to 47% in 2012 from 48% in 2011.”

Satellite operator DirecTV led ABI Research’s global satellite TV market share ranking at the end of June 2012, both in terms of subscriber base and service revenue.

“DirecTV experienced ARPU growth in the United States as a result of higher penetration in premium packages; it saw significant subscriber and revenue growth in Latin America, although ARPU fell slightly as more customers chose less expensive packages,” commented Khin Sandi Lynn, research analyst.

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