Coax CableThe number of people subscribing to pay-TV services worldwide will surpass 920 million by the end of the year, according to new market research from ABI Research. Market-wide, average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to fall slightly due to greater price competition, though less than it did in 2013.

Major sporting events, such as the 2014 World Cup, helped pay-TV service providers post small gains in ARPU this year. Overall, ABI expects global pay-TV market revenue to exceed $269 billion in 2014.

“The growing number of HD subscribers as well as major sporting events such as the World Cup 2014 have contributed to improving ARPU,” ABI’s Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director of core forecasting, was quoted in a press release.

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Pay-TV Subscribership
Notably, satellite pay-TV service provider DirecTV lost some 39,000 subscribers in the U.S. during the quarter, but added 543,000 subscribers in Latin America. That’s a sharp rise from the year-ago quarter, when DirecTV added a net 165,000 in Latin America. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil helped fuel DirecTV’s improved performance across the region, ABI highlights.

IPTV market share increased more than one percentage point in 2Q this year as compared to 2Q 2013. Rapid evolution of IPTV and online video services is fueling greater competition in the global pay-TV market, ABI notes.

Looking further out, ABI forecasts pay-TV subscriber numbers will increase to nearly 1.1 billion and generate $323 billion worldwide by 2019.

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