Satellite revenues will overtake cable as pay-TV penetration drops, report says

North American digital TV growth will resume after a slight dip in 2013, and more than 5 million subscribers will be added by 2020. But even sooner, by 2015, satellite providers will generate the most pay-TV revenue, surpassing cable, a new report says.

This will happen despite a drop in pay-TV penetration from 87 percent to 83.8 percent during the same time period, Research and Markets said in its Digital TV North America forecast.

"Pay TV penetration has peaked in Canada and the U.S.," a press release stated. "Despite falling pay TV penetration, the number of pay TV subscribers will climb … to 116.6 million."

Revenues, too, are sliding down, said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research in the release.

"Pay TV revenues in North America peaked in 2013 at $95.36 billion. We forecast that they will fall by $8.7 billion to $88.61 billion in 2020."

This, he said, will be a direct result of price competition among all pay-TV operators trying to gather in analog customers switching to digital.

Even more interesting, Murray said that satellite TV will overtake cable and become the largest pay TV platform revenue generator in 2015, with revenues that will climb by $1.2 billion to $42.8 billion in 2020. This will happen even as satellite is increasingly disadvantaged by not having a solid broadband capability.

Finally, IPTV will benefit as cable's subscriber numbers fall from 62.4 million in 2013 to 60.4 million in 2020, the research said.

"Although there has been a recent slowdown in IPTV subscriber growth, the number of homes paying for IPTV will climb by 47 percent between 2013 and 2020 to reach 18.2 million--or 13.1 percent of TV households (and) IPTV revenues will increase at a similar rate to achieve $9.85 billion by 2020," the researchers concluded.

For more:
- see this press release

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