Pay-TV Reports Confirm Emerging Market Subscriber Growth, Consolidation Trends

[Satellite News 06-12-12] The numbers of DTH subscribers have increased dramatically in recent years, as pay-TV continues to underpin the satellite market with demands for capacity, according to recent analysis issued June 12.

   Research reports from industry firms Euroconsult and ABI Research paint a strong picture for satellite despite the emergence of IPTV in many countries.
   Euroconsult’s new research study on global satellite pay-TV market “Satellite TV Platforms, World Survey and Prospects to 2021,” showed satellite pay-TV industry revenues reaching $90 billion in 2011, up from $79 billion in 2010. The study also predicts that global industry revenues will reach close to $150 billion in 2021, with emerging markets in Latin America, Central Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Asia representing a growing share of revenues that will nearly double by 2021 to reach 44 percent.
   The number of regional DTH subscribers has skyrocketed in the last five years, according to Euroconsult Consultant Dimitri Buchs, who pointed out that subscriptions to satellite TV platforms in emerging digital TV markets increased from 19 million in 2006 to 110 million in 2011.
   “India has been one of the main growth drivers over the five-year period, with countries like Brazil, Mexico, Russia and even Indonesia joining forces more recently,” said Buchs. “Asia has even become the leading region in terms of subscriptions, thanks to the booming Indian market. Revenues have also increased consequently in emerging digital markets in the recent past. In 2011, they increased by 26 percent, with Latin America leading the way. The growing number of value-added services offered in these regions favors revenue growth and enables platforms to better apprehend competition.”
   While growth in established market shows no signs of slowing, Buchs highlighted new platforms launching in emerging markets as a key trend, with Latin America and South-East Asia representing two of the most dynamic regions. “An increasing number of countries have at least one active platform, the latest countries to rollout services being Myanmar and Georgia in 2011,” said Buchs. “As a consequence, there were more than 100 satellite pay-TV platforms in emerging markets at year-end 2011. With the exception of the Middle East, all regions participated in expanding the number of platforms worldwide. The number of countries with at least one satellite pay-TV platform keeps on growing year after year and this trend is expected to continue in coming years.”           
   Buchs also pointed to Bangladesh and Pakistan as markets where platforms could launch to considerable success. “Bangladesh and Pakistan could very well be two of the future countries to rollout their first platform. In Bangladesh, this would be favored by the expected launch of its Bangabandhu-1 national satellite in 2015.”
   Other markets are also launching multiple DTH platforms and creating more competition in the pay-TV arena. Buchs said markets that have recently launched a variety of platforms, such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Bulgaria and Brazil, represent strong growth drivers for the overall industry. While far from certain, the potential opening of the Chinese market may give a new boost to the industry in the middle- to long-term, as well.
   While these conditions paint a positive picture for pay-TV, Buchs warned that emerging regions are starting to see more consolidation in markets. “In the last couple of years, consolidation was observed in the Middle East with the merger of the two historical players Showtime and Orbit, as well as in Central Europe and Asia,” he said. “In Central Europe, the process has started in Romania where Romtelecom bought Akta Satelit and Boom TV in March 2011, and in Poland, where N and Cyfra Plus signed a merger agreement in November 2011. In Asia, Nepali satellite pay-TV platforms Home TV and Dish Nepal merged under the Dish Home brand name in January 2011.”
   ABI Research also released new research on global pay-TV markets with a focus on the growing IPTV market. The firm predicted that worldwide IPTV subscriptions would grow 70 percent from 2012 to 2017, with 100 percent growth in the Asia-Pacific region thanks to its 28.5 million-subscriber strong customer base.
   “The global pay-TV subscriber base will reach 853.5 million at the end of 2012, with 116 million IPTV subscribers,” the firm said in the report. “The Asia Pacific region, however, will account for more than 60 percent of total net additions in 2012. This growth will depend mainly on China, India and other countries with low pay-TV penetration.”

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