The worldwide pay-TV market continues to grow in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1 2014). According to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), the total pay-TV subscriber base is expected to surpass 936.4 million at the end of 2014, generating US$280.4 billion in service revenue.
Although the global cable TV market grew in 2013, the North American cable TV market lost around 4% subscriber base in 2013. High subscription cost and other pay-TV alternatives are blamed for the declining subscriber base; however, cable TV operators experienced slower subscriber loss rate in the past two quarters. In Q1 2014, subscriber net loss of major cable operators in the United States was around 7k compared to over 200k subscriber loss in 4Q 2013.
“Innovative services such as Comcast’s cloud based X1 system which allows customers to store and watch TVshows on different devices has helped to reduce churn,” says Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director of core forecasting. “The North American pay-TV subscriber base is expected to reach 113.2 million in 2014.”
The high-definition TV subscriber base continued to grow in Q1 2014. ABI Research expects 45% of the total pay-TV subscriber base will be high-definition subscribers at the end of 2014. TV programmers are starting to produce ultra-high definition (4K) content from World Cup matches; Globosat, a Brazilian TV provider, recently announced it would broadcast 2014 World Cup Final Matches in 4K format.
The World Cup is likely to contribute to higher pay-TV service revenue in 2014. ABI Research anticipates that the worldwide pay-TV subscriber base will reach 1.1 billion subscribers in 2019.
“Emerging markets such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America will have a higher growth rate than mature markets in the years to come. The global pay-TV market is expected to generate $331 billion in 2019,” says Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.