Fully 1/4 of the world’s TV households will be subscribing to triple play (TV, broadband, telephony) services come 2016, Digital TV Research forecasts. Triple play, or 3P, penetration amounted to 7.1% of TV households worldwide, according to the market researcher’s “Triple Play Forecasts” report, in which 73 countries are covered.

3P subscriptions in the Asia-Pacific region will make up 58% of the forecast 2016 total, 35% higher than its 2010 share, driven by mass adoption in China, where 147 million of the total 291 million increase is forecast to occur. Chinese subscribers will make up 44% of global 3P subs overall by 2016.

Another 24 million 3P subscribers will come from the US, 18 million more from India, and 13 million more from Russia, according to Digital TV Research.

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“The 2016 3P penetration doesn’t sound too impressive until you realize that this represents 387 million homes, up from 96 million at end-2010,” report author Simon Murray commented.

The number of double play, 2P, subscribers (TV and broadband) will also grow significantly, increasing from 32 million as of year-end 2010 to 80 million by 2016, a 5.4% penetration as compared to year-end 2010’s 2.3%. Once again, China, with 30 million 2P subscriptions, will be the largest market by 2016, followed by the US, with 13 million, and India, with 12 million. Taken together, 69% of 2P subscribers will reside in these countries.

3P revenue will reach a total $170 billion by 2016, Digital TV Research says, adding nearly $100 billion to total 3P revenue as of year-end 2010. $39 billion of the increase will come from the US, which will account for fully half ($87 billion) the worldwide revenue total; $9 billion from Japan and $8 billion from China, where total 2016 revenue from 3P will be 10x that of 2010.

Half of worldwide 2P for 2016, will likewise come from the US ($13 billion), and will increase $10 billion overall, to $26 billion, between 2011 and 2016.

Breaking out 3P subscribers according to service provider, there will be 2x as many 3P cable subscribers (258 million) as compared to DSL/fiber subscribers (129 million), Digital TV Research forecasts, and there will be 4x as many 2P cable subscribers as there will be 2P DSL subscribers.

Competition for viewers is fierce, Murray commented. “Rivalry for pay TV and broadband subscribers has never been so fierce – and it’s going to get even more competitive. Operators are pushing their bundled packages hard to attract new subscribers and to retain existing ones.”

“These operators are not just competing with each other, but they also have to deal with widespread take-up of digital terrestrial TV (with its channel choice often nearly replicating the basic pay offer) and over-the-top (OTT) internet-delivered video. Furthermore, satellite TV providers are pushing newer services such as DVRs, HD and 3D to differentiate themselves from their fixed line counterparts.”

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