Global Pay TV Revenues Hit US$184 Billion

images (1)Global pay TV revenues reached an astonishing US$184B (S$236B) in 2012, according to a report by Digital TV Research, almost a 30% increase since 2008.  Cable TV revenues were (not surprisingly) the highest of any service last year, but the report made it clear that the industry’s growth is slowing.

The industry that has experienced most astonishing growth has been IPTV, which saw an eye-popping 329% increase in global revenues from 2008-2012 to US$12B (S$15.4B).  Furthermore, Digital TV Research forecasts that the number of paying IPTV households will grow to 165 million worldwide by 2017.

That said, digital TV households are expected to grow from 772 million to over 1.45 billion by 2018, an increase 678 million households, (88% growth), with 59% of that growth coming from the Asia-Pacific region.  By then, digital TV will be used in 92% of all TV households worldwide – an impressive feat if you consider that 15 years ago, many homes still used rabbit ears to get their terrestrial TV signal.


By 2018, the top 10 Pay TV countries will be 1.) China expected to have 313 million subscribers, followed by 2.) India with 158 million subscribers. 3.) USA with expected 107 million pay TV homes, and it is interesting to note, that these three countries alone are expected to account for 58% of global pay TV households.

Further to this 2018 prediction list is 4.) Russia, with 32.3 million subscribers, 5.) Brazil with 30.5 million, 6.) Japan with 27 million, 7.) Germany with 23.1 million, 8.) Mexico with 19 million, 9.) South Korea with 16.9 million and 10.) the UK with 16.3 million.

To put this into perspective; Singapore currently has approximately 1 million pay TV subscribers, (StarHub has 540k and SingTel MioTV has 400k, plus there are about 50k long tail PayTV operators). And the Pay TV penetration rate in Singapore is at approximately 55%. So, 45% of the 1.75 million households only watch the Terrestrial Free-To-Air TV channels provided by MediaCorp, while the other 55% of households subscribe to Pay TV.

Thank you to Mr. Simon Murray of the Digital TV World Databook for this excellent report.


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