The global pay TV business will gain 95 million new subscribers between 2017 and 2023 to take its total global base to 1.1 billion, according to Digital TV Research.
IPTV platforms will win most of the new subscribers likely to sign up over the next five years, taking 81 million new customers to overtake pay TV satellite subscribers this year, according to the research outfit.
According to Digital TV Research, satellite TV will add 31 million subscribers, while digital-terrestrial pay TV services will add 10 million. While digital cable services will add 61 million subscribers by 2023, analogue cable will lose 88 million, resulting in an overall net loss for cable operators.
Analogue cable subscribers numbered 90 million at the end of last year, representing a significant challenge for operators keen to convert them to digital services. Overall, Digital TV Research predicts there will be 525 million cable TV subscribers by 2023, down only slightly from the 528 million recorded in 2010.
The number of pay TV subscribers in North America is expected to fall to 92 million by 2023, down from 112 million in 2012.
The number of pay TV subscribers was flat in Latin America in 2017. Fewer than 5 million more pay TV subscribers are expected between 2017 and 2023 – bringing its total to almost 76 million.
Eastern Europe will lose 2.4 million subscribers between 2017 and 2023 – down by 2.9% to 79 million. This is more to do with poor economic conditions than cord-cutting. Eastern Europe also has a legacy of low-paying analog cable TV subscribers to convert to digital. 2017 was the peak year for the region. The 2017 total included 20 million analog cable subscribers.
Western Europe will still gain subscribers between 2017 and 2023. Although this only represents a 2.6% increase, it means nearly 3 million more subs to take the total to 106 million.
Sub-Saharan Africa will climb by 74% between 2017 and 2023 to 41 million pay TV subscribers. In the Middle East and North Africa, the number of pay TV homes will increase by 4.5 million between 2017 and 2023 to 21 million.
The Asia Pacific pay TV sector is vibrant, with subscribers up by 78 million over the next five years to 686 million.
China will continue to supply about a third of the world’s pay TV subscribers, with 375 million expected by end-2023. India will bring in another 16% of the total by 2023 – or 180 million. China and India will together provide half the world’s pay TV subscribers by 2023.