The number of multichannel video programming distributor  (MVPD) subscribers increased to 101 million from 100.8 million U.S. households between year-end 2010 and June 2012, according to the FCC’s 15th Report to Congress on the status of competition in the U.S. market for delivery of video programming.

Cable providers’ share of the market fell to 55.7% as of end-June 2012 from 59.3% as of year-end 2011, while the market share of both direct broadcast satellite (DBS) MVPDs and telco MVPDs increased, according to the FCC’s report.

As the FCC explains in a press release, it categorizes entities that deliver video programming into one of three groups: multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), broadcast television stations, and online video distributors (OVDs).

Several trends stood out since the FCC’s previous (14th) report: ongoing deployment of digital technology, sustained consumer demand for access to video programming anywhere and anytime, a growing number of households with access to four MVPDs given efforts by telcos to expand their video systems, and a larger number of online video providers entering the market as well as developing original content.

According to the FCC:

  • DBS MVPDs accounted for 33.1 percent of all MVPD subscribers in 2010, increasing to 33.6 percent at the end of June 2012.
  • Telephone MVPDs represented approximately 6.9 percent of all MVPD subscribers in 2010, increasing to an estimated 8.4 percent in 2011. At the end of June 2012, AT&T’s U-verse and Verizon’s FiOS services combined had 8.6 million video subscribers.

The number of U.S. households relying solely on over-the-air broadcast delivery remained steady at around 11.1 million households over the period, though the percentage of households represented increased from 9.6% in 2011 to 9.7% in 2012.

Noting that the market is still evolving, the FCC found that OVD’s continued to expand the amount of video content they offer, both by adding to third-party licensing agreements and by developing more original programming.

Lending credence to market research in the field, the FCC states in its 15th report that viewing of OVD programming on TV sets is “becoming increasingly prevalent.” For example, one source, SNL Kagan, estimated that by the end of 2012 the number of Internet-connected television households (i.e. accessed via an Internet-enabled game console, OVD set-top box, television set, or Blu-ray player) would have grown to 41.6 million, or 35.4% of all television households.”

Image courtesy of flickr user bendodson.