Slow growth in worldwide cable TV markets

MUMBAI: There are over 704 million pay-TV subscribers globally, according to data provided by ABI Research till the end of 2010. This is 56 million subscribers more than what was recorded in 2009.

The growth rate is good in all pay-TV platforms except cable TV. High cable penetration in regions such as North America and Western Europe, and the increasing popularity of online video services, have resulted in slow growth in worldwide cable TV markets.
The Asia-Pacific region, which owns 57 per cent of global pay-TV subscriptions, remains the largest pay-TV market in the world.

“The growing numbers of digital TV households and high speed broadband households in the Asia-Pacific region enable operators to deliver advanced pay-TV packages such as high–definition (HDTV) and IPTV that offer more options to customers," the study said.

In terms of subscriptions, China and India already stand in the first and second positions respectively in the worldwide pay-TV market. However the low level of pay-TV penetration in these countries creates a great opportunity to expand the subscriber base.

Thailand’s cable and satellite TV market is likely to boom as well in coming years, due to recent government plans for regulatory changes in the broadcasting industry. 
The deployment of digital television is seen as a significant development in some countries. In 2010 more than half of all pay-TV subscribers are digital TV subscribers. Launches of high-definition television services via a variety of pay-TV platforms are being accelerated by operators around the world. The total HDTV subscriptions are expected to reach 225 million this year, the study said. 

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