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Pay TV subscribers to reach 1.06 billion by 2025

The total number of pay TV subscribers around the world is set to top 1.06 billion by 2025.

According to new figures from Digital TV Research for 138 countries, the industry will see an increase of 35 million additional pay TV subscribers between 2019-25, building on the milestone of 1 billion passed in 2018.

Digital pay TV is the largest area, growing from 380 million subscribers in 2010 to 990 million at the end of 2019. This will increase to 1.062 billion by 2025.

IPTV is expected to add 84 million subscribers between 2019 and 2025 to take its total to 391 million. This will increase its share of pay TV subscribers from 30% in 2019 to 37% in 2025.

Satellite and cable TV are set to be the losers however. Satellite TV will lose 4 million subscribers between 2019-25, with the segment generating 20% of pay TV subscribers by 2025; down slightly from 21% in 2019.

The stark decline of cable TV is also laid bare by the report, with the segment expected to account for 40% of all pay TV subscribers by 2025, down from 47% in 2019. By contrast, cable TV accounted for 74% of the entire market  in 2010. There will be 430 million cable TV subs (both analog and digital) by 2025, 101 million lower than the 531 million recorded in 2010.

Somewhat surprisingly, there were 38 million analogue cable TV subscribers by the end of 2019 around the world. Digital cable TV will similarly lose subscribers – falling from 446 million at end-2019 to 429 million by 2025.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Our forecasts are based on the assumption that professional sports will restart in August following relaxations in the Covid 19 lockdown. If this does not happen, then pay TV will experience considerable churn.”