Pay TV subscribers in North America to grow by 5M, report says

Doomsayers and apparent trends aside, a report by Digital TV Research said that nearly 5 million more pay-TV subscribers will sign up for service in North America by 2020. However, the research firm predicts pay-TV penetration will drop from 87 percent to 83.8 percent.

"Despite falling pay TV penetration, the number of pay TV subscribers will climb by nearly 5 million between 2013 and 2020 to 116.6 million," the firm said in a press release.

Also of note, Digital TV Research said that satellite TV will become the largest pay-TV platform generator in 2015 and satellite TV revenues will grow by $1.2 billion over the next six years. That's better than cable revenues, which are expected to decline by almost $13 billion during that time, including a $2.5 billion loss in 2014.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) is going down as a result of bundled plays, the report contends.

"Pay TV revenues (from subscriptions and on-demand) in North America peaked in 2013 at $95.36 billion" and are forecasted to "fall by $8.75 billion to $86.61 billion in 2020," Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research said in the release. "As the analog cable networks switch off, all pay TV operators will try to outdo each other on promotions, with pricing becoming a more and more important tool."

One of the big winners in the analog-to-digital transition will be IPTV, where a 47 percent increase in subscriber homes is predicted by 2020. That would mean that 18.2 million North American subscribers (13.1 percent of TV households) will get IPTV, driving $9.85 billion in revenue by 2020, the report indicated.

Digital TV Research share of TV households

For more:
- see this press release

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