SNL Kagan: Cable’s video market share to decline but DTV will provide a boost

Fri, 05/16/2008 - 8:05am
Mike Robuck

A study by SNL Kagan said that telco video providers will eat into cable’s industry-leading multichannel video market share, but the transition to digital TV signals next year will increase multichannel subscriptions.

The SNL Kagan study – “U.S. Multichannel Projections” – estimated that cable’s market share will drop from its current 64 percent to 59 percent by 2012 due to increased competition from telcos and satellite video providers.

“Cable’s ability to prevent more rapid erosion to its subscriber base will depend on the migration to all-digital services,” said Ian Olgeirson, SNL Kagan senior analyst. “The ability to introduce enhanced services to a broader selection of subscribers and reclaim analog channels to free up bandwidth is going to prove critical to the long-term success for cable video packages.”

SNL Kagan projects telcos to make the biggest strides in multichannel subscriptions by going from 3 percent to 9 percent by 2012. The study said that small-dish satellite providers were projected to lose market share due to the unavailability of bundled voice and data packages and limitations for on-demand services.

The transition from analog to digital signals on Feb. 17, 2009, will increase multichannel subscriptions without generating a large-scale migration. SNL Kagan conservatively estimated that 10 percent of over-the-air households will opt for multichannel, with cable receiving the majority of converts and satellite and telco splitting the remainder.

The SNL Kagan study projects an annual growth of 2.1 percent for total multichannel subscriptions, reaching 108.5 million in 2012. The SNL Kagan study said that although market penetrations are reaching a ceiling, the total number of multichannel households is expected to increase, with multichannel subscribers accounting for nearly 89 percent of TV households in the five-year outlook.

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