IMS Research: Tier 1 telco TV in 40 million homes by 2014

It may not come as a shock, but IMS Research suggests in a new study that Tier 1 telcos are becoming the new behemoths of the pay TV landscape. These firms, such as AT&T, China Telecom and France Telecom, will serve about 40.1 million households with their TV services by the end of 2014, the study says.

According to a report at, Rebecca Kurlak, research analyst at IMS and author of the study, adds that "Tier 2 and 3 telcos will continue to experience subscriber growth as well. In 2008, tier 2 and tier 3 telcos comprised almost 46% of subscribers. Throughout the forecast, the larger telcos will essentially be stealing honey from the smaller telcos' bee hives by providing more services, deeper discounts and more compelling content from major studios. Hence the reason why the small telcos will only garner close to 23 million TV households by the end of 2014, half the potential of what Tier 1 telcos are anticipated to achieve."

If I'm reading that correctly--and tell me if I'm not--the suggestion is that Tier 1 telcos actually pose a competitive threat to the smaller telcos, a notion that may come as a surprise to the smaller telcos themselves, who I think perceive satellite TV companies and, less so, cable TV companies, as the obvious competitive threats to their young pay TV offerings. If anything, it has appeared so far that large telcos don't really care about either telephone or TV customers in the more rural markets usually served by the Tier 2 and Tier 3 guys.

Meanwhile, the Tier 2 and Tier 3 telcos are starting to see more affordable and accessible infrastructure and content choices to support their pay TV service, a trend which seems to stengthen the odds for their ongoing success in pay TV.

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