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Global pay TV still set for growth, despite US cord-cutting

Globally, pay TV service providers will add 81 million additional subscribers between 2018 and 2024, translating to growth of 8%, according to Digital TV Research.

According to the research outfit, this will take the global total to 1.1 billion. Based on forecasts for 138 countries, the number of pay TV subs passed one billion last year.

China will continue to supply about a third of the world’s pay TV subscribers, with 356 million expected by 2024, according to Digital TV Research. India will bring in another 17% of the total by 2024 – or 187 million, and China and India will together provide half the world’s pay TV subscribers by 2024.

The research outfit predicts that IPTV will be the leading pay TV platform, adding 100 million subscribers between 2018 and 2024 to take its total to 357 million. IPTV overtook pay satellite TV subs in 2018.

Satellite TV and pay DTT will each grow by only seven million subs between 2018 and 2024. Digital cable TV will add 18 million subs between 2018 and 2024, but analogue cable TV will lose 62 million subs – meaning a net loss for cable – according to the research.

Excluding analogue cable TV, digital pay TV has grown from 380 million subscribers in 2010 to 954 million at end-2018, with a predicted rise to 1,096 million by 2024.

“Every quarter we hear of alarming cord-cutting in the US. This will continue, with the US losing nearly 10 million subscribers between 2018 and 2024. About 28 of the 138 countries will lose subscribers between 2018 and 2024,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

“However, it is not all bad news – 110 countries will gain subscribers. Asia Pacific will contribute six of the top 10 countries by pay TV subscriber additions. From the 81 million additional pay TV subs between 2018 and 2024, 29 million will come from India, 16 million from China and 8 million from Indonesia”.