Pay TV subs could hit 760 million this year

The number of pay TV subscribers is expected to exceed 759 million by the end of the year, according to data from market research company ABI Research.

ABI said there were 11.3 million new pay TV subs in the first quarter of 2011. Cable TV still has the largest market share but it fell to 69% in 2010 from 72% in 2009. ABI said operators in western Europe and North America faced particularly strong subscriber losses.

“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 channels and high definition 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.”