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TV now 55% digital as global analogue switch-offs continue

More than 55% of households with a TV now receive a digital signal, compared to just 30% in 2008, according to new global stats by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

According to the report, 81% of homes in the developed world now receive a digital signal. In the developing world, this figure is now 42% having almost tripled between 2008 and 2012.

Pay TV subscriptions reached 728 million by the end of 2012 – a 32% increase over four years. The figure means that 53% of all households with a television have a pay-TV subscription.

“The steady decline in analogue TV technologies is being counterbalanced by strong growth of digital technologies. Digital cable subscriptions more than doubled between 2008 and 2012, as did the number of households receiving DTT,” said the study.

The ITU noted that traditional multichannel TV platforms like cable and direct-to-home satellite are facing increasing competition from IPTV service providers and digital terrestrial TV channels.

“At the same time, TV delivery over the internet is becoming increasingly popular, particularly through over-the-top (OTT) audio-visual content providers such as YouTube, Netflix and China’s PPLive service, as well as the many traditional broadcasting stations that now offer online streaming or downloading of TV and video content,” said the ITU.