Satellite & cable pay-TV subs slow down: Study

MUMBAI: The satellite and cable pay-TV market is slowing down due to the emergence of new technology platforms.

Net subscriber addition in the global pay-TV market increased by two per cent in the third quarter of the year over the prior quarter, according to ABI Research’s recent pay-TV market data. 
ABI Research practice director Jason Blackwell said, “The global number of pay-TV subscribers reached 692 million in the third quarter of 2010. Pay-TV subscriber growth is holding steady in a number of world regions.”

Pay television markets have experienced many changes due to the entry of a number of new television platforms. These new platforms, such as digital terrestrial TV and online video, are stimulating more competition to the traditional pay-TV services. As a result, there is slower subscriber growth in satellite and cable television services.  
The slow growth in subscribers is notable especially in Western Europe and North America where the penetration rate is high. However, satellite and cable TV growth is expected to remain strong in the regions such as Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Pay digital terrestrial television has seen success in countries such as France, Italy and Spain. Italian pay terrestrial television provider Mediaset is the leader in the pay terrestrial TV market. Mediaset added nearly 300,000 subscribers in 2Q-2010 to reach a total subscriber base of 4.4 million.

ABI research associate Khin Sandi Lynn said, “At this moment Western Europe, with a comprehensive 99 per cent of the terrestrial pay-TV market, holds the largest terrestrial television market share”.

There was strong growth in worldwide IPTV subscriptions in the third quarter of 2010, with more than 2.7 million IPTV subscribers added. Global broadband penetration is increasing, as well as the broadband speed. High-speed broadband opens an opportunity for operators to offer IPTV services. Western Europe remains the largest IPTV market, followed by the Asia-Pacific region and North America.

ABI Research expects that the worldwide IPTV subscriber base will exceed 53 million at the end of 2011.

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