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Global pay-TV subscriber base to surpass 924.4 mn

MUMBAI: The worldwide pay-TV market is expected to grow by five per cent in 2014, surpassing 924.4 million subscribers.

ABI Research VP, practice director of core forecasting Jake Saunders said, “IPTV is expected to grow a market leading 14 per cent in 2014, followed by satellite TV platform at seven per cent. The growth rates of cable and terrestrial TV platforms are expected to slow to around three per cent”.

Global cable TV market growth is driven by the Asian-Pacific and Latin American markets. A combination of the two regions is likely to add over 13 million subscribers in 2014 while the cable TV market in North America is expected to decline approximately one per cent in 2014. In the third quarter of 2014, major cable TV operators in North America lost over 400,000 TV customers, although cable companies are doing well in broadband.

Video streaming services such as Netflix and TiVo, which cost less than $10 in monthly fees, are attractive alternatives for pay-TV customers. Traditional pay-TV operators are now trying to compete with these services by developing their own video-streaming products or by integrating these services in their existing services. Online video service Netflix has agreed to deals with some of the pay-TV operators in Europe to offer its streaming service to European broadband customers. Canadian companies such as Cogeco, Rogers Communications, and Shaw Communications also recently announced deals to offer Netflix’s video streaming service to their own broadband customers.

Bundled packages help pay-TV operators try to reduce churn. In addition, HD channels, advanced PVR services and premium content such as sport content contribute to increased Arpu.

Industry analyst Khin Sandi Lynn said, “The worldwide HD subscriber base is growing on all pay-TV platforms. Approximately 57 per cent of total pay-TV subscribers will be HD subscribers by 2019. ABI Research forecasts the global pay-TV market will generate $324 billion in service revenues by 2019”.