Cable TV service providers are losing market share to telco and online TV services even as the worldwide market for pay-TV services continues to grow. Global pay-TV subscribers increased 11.3 million during Q1 2011 and is expected to grow to more than 759 million by the end of the year. Cable providers maintain the highest share at 69%, though that declined from 72% in 2010, according to a report, “Pay TV Subscriber Market Data,” from ABI Research.

The increasing share of telco and online TV services was particularly strong in the developed markets of Western Europe and North America. It was less pronounced in emerging markets, such as those in Latin America, where pay-TV penetration is low.

Countries around the world, developed and emerging economies, are transitioning from analog to terrestrial (DTT) and HDTV digital platforms, which should also expand the range of consumer choice. The transition is advanced and moving swiftly in Western Europe, and is also progressing in China and India.

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“The emergence of digital TV in different pay-TV platforms begins to offer more choices to consumers,” notes research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn. “Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels and high definition (HDTV) channels are gaining popularity in pay-TV markets. ABI Research expects that there will be more than 230 million high-definition TV subscriptions across different platforms at the end of 2011.”

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