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Study: Digital TV subs to reach nearly 129M by 2016

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 2:48pm
Mike Robuck

According to recent research, digital TV subscribers in North America will increase from 114 million last year to 129 million in 2016.

There’s no doubt that cord-cutting is taking place to some degree, but while video providers are losing basic subscribers, their digital TV customers continue to grow.

A study by Strategy Analytics found that while the cable TV market sector will see a decline in overall subscribers, which is borne out in recent earnings reports, digital cable TV subscribers will increase from 49 million last year to nearly 54 million in four years.

Digital satellite and IPTV services will continue to reap the benefits of a changing marketplace, with the latter growing from 8 million subscribers in 2011 to 20 million in 2016.

“Cord-cutting could still have an impact on the pay-TV market, so we keep a close eye on the trends and activities of pay-TV consumers,” said Jason Blackwell, director of service provider strategies at Strategy Analytics. “However, without a competitive level of content, alternative services have yet to offer a compelling alternative to the traditional pay-TV channel lineup.”

Cable operators and other video providers have been working to keep or win back customers through their TV Everywhere initiatives across multi-screens.

“Cable has been weakening for several quarters, with most operators losing subscribers,” said Richard Fontes, an analyst in the Service Provider Strategies (SPS) group at Strategy Analytics. “Second screen, TV Everywhere and other new services from cable operators will help slow these losses and keep higher-value – meaning higher average revenue per user (ARPU) – digital subscribers in place.”

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