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Global Pay-TV Market to Top $250 Billion in 2014

Infonetics Research released the first edition of its 2010 biannual Pay-TV Video Services and Subscribers report -- which tracks telco IPTV, cable video, and satellite video services and subscribers.

"Increased competition among video service operators will help keep monthly subscription fees in check, which will offset some of the growth expected from incremental revenue via video on demand (VoD), digital video recording (DVR), and start-over services," notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband and IPTV at Infonetics Research.

According to Infonetics, the biggest single threat to traditional pay-TV revenue growth is the continued rise of online Over-the-Top (OTT) video viewing, where consumers can downgrade or eliminate their monthly TV subscription in favor of streamed content delivered over the Internet via ad-supported sites like Hulu and YouTube -- and by online-only pay-TV service platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon.

Infonetics Video Services Market Study Highlights Include:

- Worldwide pay-TV revenue derived by service providers and cable companies for IPTV, cable video, and satellite video services is forecast to top $250 billion in 2014.

- Average revenue per user (ARPU) for telco IPTV services in most regions remains lower than ARPU for cable and satellite services.

- Still, telco IPTV service revenue is forecast to grow over the next five years -- good news for service providers trying to stem the growing loss of revenue from decreasing fixed access lines.

- Operators such as AT&T, Verizon, Belgacom, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Iliad, and China Telecom are adding video subscribers, selling them on a combination of exclusive content, higher picture quality, and low introductory subscription fees.

- In North America, the top two providers of pay-TV video services -- in terms of annual revenue -- are Comcast and DirecTV.

- In EMEA, Sky is the revenue share leader by far, with its presence in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Austria.

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