Report: Telco TV, IPTV, online video cut into cable subscriber dominance

Telco TV, IPTV, and online video platforms increasingly are making inroads against cable TV providers, stealing subscribers in North America and Western Europe, says new research.

Overall, the pay-TV industry grew in the first quarter of 2011, with 11.3 million new subscribers worldwide, said ABI Research, which also forecast a net pool of 759 million pay-TV subscribers by the end of the year.

While cable TV maintains its subscriber dominance, its slice of the pie shrank 3 percent between 2009 and 2010, from 72 percent to 69 percent.

In Latin America and other emerging markets, cable TV likely will continue its growth, said practice director Jason Blackwell.

The momentum of the switch-off from analog TV is still a driving force across much of the world, especially in Western Europe, with the U.K. and Italy expecting to complete analog switch-off in 2012. Asia-Pacific countries such as China and India have taken the first steps to switch off analog transmission, and the process is expected to be complete by 2015.

"The emergence of digital TV in different pay-TV platforms begins to offer more choices to consumers," notes research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn. "Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels and high definition (HDTV) channels are gaining popularity in pay-TV markets. ABI Research expects that there will be more than 230 million high-definition TV subscriptions across different platforms at the end of 2011."

For more:
- see this release

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