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Pay-TV Subscribers Forecast at 1.4 Billion by 2014

Over the last twenty-four months the growth of pay-TV subscriptions has been very unpredictable, with some significant subscriber uptake differences -- depending on the market in question, and the type of services being offered.

Certainly, the reported worldwide economic challenges have negatively impacted much of the video entertainment sector, as consumers actively seek ways to reduce their monthly expenses.

However, the overall global market seems to be improving, as the total number of pay-TV subscribers by year-end 2010 were somewhat greater than year-end 2009 -- by a little over 6 percent, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

"Nearly every region showed gains or held their own in 2010," said Stephanie Pickering, Industry Analyst at In-Stat. "However, cable providers were impacted, to at least some degree, by a migration to satellite and/or IPTV in virtually every region."

That said, it's very possible that the incumbent Cable pay-TV service providers, in some parts of the world, could introduce new lower-cost IP video offerings -- thereby accepting reduced revenue and profit margins, in recognition of the apparent differences in video entertainment consumer expectations.

In-Stat's latest market study highlights include:

- China has the largest number of pay-TV subscribers with over 160 million.

- The largest regional market of IPTV subscribers is Western Europe with nearly 17.5 million subscribers, of which France has over 10 million, led by Free and Orange.

- Net Servicos de Comunicacao of Brazil is the largest cable operator in the Caribbean and Latin America region.

- AT&T went from the sixth largest Telco TV operator in the world at the end of 2009 to the fourth largest in 2010.

- Total global pay-TV subscribers will approach 1.4 billion by 2014.

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