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Global Pay-TV Market Grew to $238 Billion in 2012

If you've followed the news last year about the consistent decline in cable TV subscribers within the United States, then you may have assumed ​that the overall market was in decline.

The worldwide pay-TV market actually grew at a steady pace in 2012 generating $238 billion by end-of-year, that's up from $223 billion in 2011, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

The global pay-TV market is expected to generate $304 billion in 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 percent. In some markets, continued revenue growth will likely come from increases to subscriber fees -- not from the addition of new subscribers.

That being said, the global service revenue contributions from cable TV are proving to be mixed, according to ABI's current assessment.

The Asia-Pacific region saw service revenue growth due to underlying increase in subscriptions.

However, cable TV operators in North America are experiencing an ongoing decline in service revenue as result of a contracting subscriber base -- despite cable TV service innovations such as DVR and HDTV offerings.

Globally, IPTV is gaining market share year-over-year while the rest of the pay-TV platforms are slowly contracting. IPTV service revenue market share increased from 10 percent in 2011 to 11.5 percent in 2012.

Cable TV market share dropped to 47 percent in 2012 from 48.5 percent in 2011, while satellite TV market share dropped around 1 percent during the same period.

"Availability of super-fast broadband networks and bundle offers from telcos over high-speed networks are driving the growth of IPTV adoption. IPTV market share is expected to increase to 18 percent in 2018, to generate $53 billion in revenue," said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director at ABI Research.

Based on the ABI Research global pay-TV market share analysis, satellite giant DirecTV ranks first -- in terms of pay-TV service revenue across all platforms. In the global IPTV sector, Verizon is the top ranked IPTV operator with the highest service revenue.

ABI Research has not offered any encouragement to the notion that the pay-TV market is likely to change. For the time being, we should anticipate more of the same results from each of the global markets mentioned in this latest report.

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