"Thanks to strong momentum mostly in the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China - pay-TV revenue and subscribers continue to grow in the face of mounting cable subscriber losses in North America and Western Europe, where pay-TV providers are in danger of being relegated to the role of content aggregator," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst at Infonetics Research.
To stem the subscriber losses, incumbent MSOs including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and UPC are introducing new services, like home automation and multi-screen video to reduce subscriber churn and generate top-line revenue growth, in addition to deploying new technologies to lower the capex required to deliver broadcast video.
Highlights from the latest market study include:
- Pay-TV providers took in $287 billion worldwide in 2012, 10% more than in 2011, for cable and satellite pay TV and telco IPTV services.
- Cable makes up the largest portion of the pay-TV market, but this will change by 2017 when satellite grows to more than 40 percent of total pay-TV revenue.
- Telco IPTV revenue is growing fastest among the 3 pay-TV segments, forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 19 percent CAGR through 2017.
- Pay-TV subscribers reached 730 million in 2012, that's up 7 percent from the previous year.
- In 2012, digital cable pay-TV subscribers outnumbered analog subscribers for the first time, bolstered by European Union's transition from analog to digital.
- DirecTV and Comcast are the reigning kings of pay TV: DirecTV has the highest ARPU, while Comcast has the most subscribers.