Telco companies are adding IPTV subscribers, most likely at the expense of cable companies, which are experiencing a drop in their video customer base. This conclusion, from market research firm Infonetics, is based upon first quarter 2013 data but is not necessarily a big surprise for industry watchers.
"Cable TV and IPTV subscriptions in North America and EMEA continue to move in opposite directions," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics.
Specifically, Heynen said that from fourth quarter 2012 to first quarter 2013, IPTV subscribers increased 6 percent globally, while cable video customers declined around 1 percent.
China Telecom, Orange, Iliad Group, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) are the top IPTV providers by subscriber count and account for about 43 million IPTV customers as of first quarter 2013. The report also said China Telecom is the largest IPTV provider with about 22 million customers as of first quarter, and that IPTV is seeing strong growth in the Middle East, where subscribers grew 42 percent in the first quarter.
Interestingly, AT&T in the third quarter surpassed 10 million U-Verse Internet and video customers. In addition, the company said it added 265,000 TV customers in the quarter.
Meanwhile, on the cable side, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Guangdong Cable TV, Jiangsu Cable TV, Shandong Cable TV and Zhejiang Cable TV are the top 5 cable providers, with a combined total of 93 million subscribers.
- see this press release
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