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Global pay TV subscribers to grow, thanks to strong AP market

Jack Loo | Sept. 27, 2012
ABI Research predicts the worldwide market will grow by five percent despite weak US market.

The global pay television market is expected to make a five percent growth in 2012 from the previous year, mostly driven by a buoyant Asia Pacific market, according to ABI Research.

According to ABI Research's Pay-TV Subscribers report, the number of pay television subscribers worldwide is likely to reach 858.1 million by the end of 2012, and the Asia Pacific market is expected to add more than 27 million subscribers this year.

"Overall Asia Pacific digital cable TV subscriber base is expected to reach 213 million by the end of 2012, a 27 percent increase from 2011," said Khin Sandi Lynn, research analyst, ABI Research.

ABI Research analysts note that the ongoing digitisation process in countries such as India has been steadily increasing digital TV penetration. 

However, more work needs to be done. The Indian government recently announced that it will not extend the deadline set for cable digitisation of 12 million homes in the four major metro areas beyond 31 October, 2012. ABI Research is sceptical that target will be reached as only 68 percent has been achieved so far.

Meanwhile, a weak US market is causing a decline in pay television subscribers. ABI Research expects that the overall pay TV subscriber base in North America at the end of 2012 will decline 0.2 percent from 2011.

"As broadband adoption grows, it is likely that pay TV subscribers will switch to Internet TV services. Internet TV services are cheaper than traditional pay TV services or even free of charge. Services such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. are cheaper alternatives for pay TV subscribers especially in these uncertain economic times," said Sam Rosen, practice director of TV & video.


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