According to Digital TV Research’s Global Pay TV Operator Databook, China Radio & TV – the post-consolidation Chinese cable and pay TV giant – is the world’s biggest pay TV operator by a large margin, with 226.5 million subscribers. It is followed by two other Chinese operators, China Telecom, with 52 million subscribers, and BesTV, another IPTV player with 26 million customers.
The remainder of the top 10 operators is made up of US and Indian firms, with AT&T, Comcast and Charter taking fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively. India’s Dish TV, Hathway and Den Networks take the next three spots, followed by US satellite pay TV operator DISH Network.
According to the Global Pay TV Operator Databook, 522 leading operators had 839 million subscribers at the end of last year, accounting for 87% of the world’s 959 million pay TV subscribers.
Subscription and pay TV revenues for the 522 operators amounted to US$185 billion (€162 billion) last year, with 30 operators earning in excess of US$1 billion each. The share of global TV revenue for the top 10 amounted to 55%, while the top 50 operators took three quarters of total revenues.
While Asian operators led on subscriber numbers, they feature less prominently in the subscription and PPV revenue rankings, with US companies accounting for six of the top 10 by revenue.
Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “China’s and India’s dominance of the top pay TV operator rankings is increasing, partly as their subs bases climb but also due to US operators losing subscribers.”