Despite inroads by over-the-top offerings like Hulu and Netflix, rising prices increasing subscriber agitation and cord-cutting rumors, the pay-TV market appears to be recording gains across the globe, at least for IPTV operators.
"Nearly every region showed gains or held their own in 2010," according to Stephanie Pickering, an industry analyst for In-Stat, who said forecasts for global pay-TV numbers exceed 1.4 billion by 2014. "However, cable providers were impacted, to at least some degree, by a migration to satellite and/or IPTV in virtually every region."
As expected, Asia, and China specifically, continues to have the largest number of pay-TV subscribers, 160 million. And, as has been the case for several years, Western Europe has the largest IPTV market in the world, with France the stalwart at 10 million subscribers.
AT&T has steadily been moving up the ranks of IPTV operators with its U-verse product. The telco now ranks as the fourth largest IPTV provider in the world, up from sixth a year ago. AT&T, in its earnings call this week, said it gained 218,000 subscribers in the first quarter, giving it 3.2 million total U-verse TV subscribers.
- see this release
AT&T's U-verse is wireline's lifeline in Q1, adds 218,000 subs
Metrics: Point Topic's IPTV global subscriber report
Forecast pegs IPTV subs at 131.6 M by 2015