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Satellite, IPTV video services gaining ground on cable

Wed, 11/02/2011 - 4:14pm
Mike Robuck

Infonetics chartWhile the over-the-top video threat seems to be waning, satellite and IPTV video service providers are gaining ground on cable operators' share of the video pie, according to a recent report.

"In 2008, cable video made up 59 percent of the global pay-TV market, satellite video brought in 38 percent and IPTV was just a drop in the bucket," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research. "Now cable operators are being challenged not only by attractive pricing and services from IPTV and satellite operators, but by all over-the-top video services, like Netflix and Amazon, and by connected TV devices, which are prompting consumers to cut the cord. Net new cable video subscribers continue to decline in North America and EMEA, and the small increases in Asia and Central and Latin America aren't offsetting those declines.

"While we don't expect OTT to have a significant impact on pay-TV subscribers because operators are responding to OTT with their own enhanced delivery offerings, we do expect cable video's share of pay-TV revenue to decline as satellite video increases – nearly catching up to cable by 2015 – while IPTV services grow to 15 percent of the market."

Overall, the global pay-TV market, including IPTV, cable and satellite video services, totaled $125 billion in the first half of this year and is projected to grow to $353 billion by 2015. Most of that projected growth will come from satellite and IPTV services, according to Infonetics Research.

Other results from the report included:

  • North America remained the highest-value pay-TV market, benefitting from the highest average revenue per user (ARPU), followed by Asia Pacific, which benefited from a pay-TV subscriber base nearly four times the size of that of North America.
  • DirecTV and Comcast are the global market leaders for pay-TV service revenue and subscribers in the first half of this year, respectively, with DirecTV continuing to enjoy the highest ARPU in the industry and Comcast now with 22.5 million subscribers.
  • In the first half of this year, the top 20 pay-TV revenue leaders accounted for 52 percent of the revenue, while the top 20 subscriber leaders represented just 29 percent of the subscribers.
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