Infonetics: IPTV, satellite taking away cable customers

The cable TV market is losing and the IPTV and satellite industries are gaining as "ongoing challenging economic conditions" take their toll on the pay TV space, Infonetics Research's Jeff Heynen has concluded.

In the November Pay TV Services and Subscribers report, Heynen concludes that the sour economy in North America and Europe "is slowing subscriber and revenue growth in the cable TV market. Subscribers are far less loyal than they used to be."

Less loyalty means more churn, and that means trouble for cable operators as "subscribers take advantage of introductory pricing on satellite and IPTV subscriptions that's 30 percent to 50 percent below their cable bills," he continued. "DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T) and Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED) have all set their sights on existing cable subscribers and they're seeing their subscriber base increase as cable TV subscriptions shrink."

The pay TV market was worth about 9.4 percent more in the first half of this year ($137 billion) compared to the same period last year, and the number of global pay TV subscribers will climb 6 percent this year to hit about 719 million.

Cable continues to dominate market share, with about 60 percent of all pay TV subscribers, but telco IPTV is up 19 percent year-over-year in 2012. The telco space is led by Verizon and AT&T, which are "neck-and-neck" for revenue share, followed by France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom in Europe and NTT and CTC in Asia, the report continued.

Latin America, still the smallest of markets, is also the fastest growing, with revenues expected to climb 23 percent this year to pass $23 billion.

For more:
- Infonetics issued this press release

Related articles:
Studies say pay TV operators must integrate OTT
Esteves: Time Warner Cable seeing net subscriber growth in fourth quarter
North American business buoys Pace's results