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The Global Pay-TV Market Reaches $137 Billion

According to the latest market study by Infonetics Research, traditional pay-TV subscribers are now far less loyal than they used to be. That new independence has freed many from the expense of high-cost video entertainment services.

That being said, the cable TV industry is more characterized by churn than cord cutting, as subscribers take advantage of introductory pricing on satellite and IPTV subscriptions -- typically, that's 30-50 percent lower than their cable TV service fees.

Infonetics released excerpts from its "Pay-TV Services and Subscribers report," which forecasts and analyzes the telco Internet protocol television (IPTV), cable video, and satellite video services markets. Apparently, this is a market in transition, as the economy motivates more pay-TV subscribers to seek a better value for their money.

"Ongoing challenging economic conditions in the key revenue-generating markets of North America and Western Europe have resulted in slowing subscriber and revenue growth in the cable TV market," notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and pay-TV at Infonetics Research.

DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T, and Virgin Media have all set their sights on existing cable subscribers -- and they're seeing their subscriber bases increase as cable TV subscriptions continue to shrink.


Highlights from the Infonetics study include:
  • The global pay-TV market (cable, satellite, and telco IPTV) totaled $137 billion in the first half of 2012 (1H12), that's a 9.4 percent increase over the same time last year.
  • By 2016, Infonetics expects satellite TV revenue to overtake cable TV revenue for the first time.
  • Global pay-TV service revenue is forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 7 percent CAGR from 2011 to 2016, spurred by emerging markets Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Russia, India, and China.
  • Latin America, the smallest but fastest-growing pay-TV market, is on track to jump 23 percent this year to top $23 billion.
  • The number of global pay-TV subscribers will reach 719 million in 2012, that's up by 6 percent from 2011.
  • While cable subscribers continue to make up the lion's share (60 percent in 1H12) of pay-TV subscribers, growth is strongest in the telco IPTV segment, up 19 percent in 1H12 over 2H11.
  • Verizon and AT&T are neck-and-neck for revenue share in the fast-growing telco IPTV market, followed by France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom in Europe and NTT and CTC in Asia.

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