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Cable Technology Feature Article

November 04, 2011

Infonetics Research: Satellite Video and IPTV Services Gathering Momentum

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor

Infonetics' biannual Pay TV Services and Subscribers report provides worldwide and regional market

forecasts and analysis for telco IPTV (News - Alert), analog and digital cable video and satellite video services. Excerpts released from this report reveal that the global pay TV market is gathering momentum.

Infonetics Research forecasts tremendous growth for the global pay TV market, which is predicted to touch $353 billion by 2015. Satellite video and telco IPTV would contribute to most of the growth. North America would continue to lead on ARPU with Asia Pacific is expected to emerge with the highest subscriber base.

The research firm also stated that DirecTV (News - Alert) and Comcast, respectively, were the global market leaders for pay TV service revenue and subscribers in the first half of 2011. During this period, 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.

According to an analyst note, the situation in 2008 was not a high watermark for pay TV. Cable video constituted 59 percent of the global pay TV market while satellite video constituted 38 percent. IPTV had made only insignificant inroads.

However, the note adds that attractive pricing and services from IPTV and satellite operators and over-the-top (OTT) video services appear to be posing challenges to cable operators. Connected TV devices have further compounded the situation and customers are more than willing to 'cut the cord'.

Jeff Hansen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics (News - Alert) Research believed that while operators can level the playing fields with OTT with their own enhanced delivery offerings, the decline in cable video subscribers would be hard to stem. New cable video subscribers continue to decline in North America and EMEA and the small increase elsewhere is not enough to offset that decline.

With cable video slowly declining and IPTV services showing great promise, Hansen noted that satellite video would slowly gain ground and might just catch up with cable video by 2015.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell