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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 03, 2013

Comcast: The World's Largest Pay-TV Operator

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Comcast (News - Alert) is the world’s largest pay-TV operator, with 22 million subscribers at the end of 2012. It’s also one of 11 operators that together mean that the United States is third in the world when it comes to large TV operator density.

To facilitate a global comparison of the world's largest video and broadband providers, SNL Kagan compiled a database of 106 major operators serving no fewer than two million video subscribers or one million fixed-line broadband subscribers at year-end 2012.

Geographically, China, India and the U.S. accounted for 50, or nearly half, of the 106 top operators, with 27 entities based in China and 12 in India. The U.S. came third with 11 operators, followed by France, Germany, South Korea, Brazil and Mexico, each with five.

Comcast may rule the roost for video, but SNL Kagan also noted that Chinese telco incumbent China Telecom (News - Alert) was the top fixed broadband provider, reaching 90.1 million high-speed Internet customers.

On a regional level, China's ongoing cable consolidation and India's continued DTH surge have produced many top pay TV operators in the Asia Pacific region with gigantic subscriber bases. At end-2012, the top 10 Asia Pacific operators each served more than 10 million video subscribers and still are on track for further growth.

Strong DTH uptake has also taken place in Latin America, where top providers SKY Brasil, Sky Mexico and America Movil's Claro (News - Alert) made the most aggressive subscriber net additions in 2012 in the region.

In the advanced territories of North America and Western Europe meanwhile, telecom providers are outpacing incumbent cable operators in terms of subscriber growth, with IPTV (News - Alert) services from AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., France Telecom Group and Deutsche Telekom AG registering the most net additions, while cable giants such as Comcast Corp., Rogers Cable Inc., Kabel Deutschland GmbH and Numericable SAS (News - Alert) continued to suffer subscriber loss.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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