The global DTH market for subscribers is likely to pass the 200 million mark by 2018, according to the research firm NSR. A total of 99 DTH operators beamed over 13,800 channels to 114 million subscribers and generated over $65 billion in subscription revenue as of the end of 2008.
The report spans 10 regions and finds both similarities and differences that have made the whole DTH market greater than the sum of its parts. North America, Western Europe and East Asia dominate all channel, subscriber and revenue counts, and growth in these regions comes from premium services such as HD and PVRs.
Central & Eastern Europe, South Asia and South America, on the other hand, are very much on the growth track, but in their case, plain vanilla DTH subscribers are the biggest drivers. NSR's multi-regional presence with analysts in five distinct regions of the world provides for both local perspective and global coverage of these trends.
Primary research, in the form of extensive interviews, has confirmed that the economic impact has been cushioned as operators try to cash in on the "stay at home" phenomenon. Another trend that defines the mature markets is that of fierce competition as cable and satellite battle it out, and the threat of IPTV looms large in countries such as France and the the US.
NSR expects the number of channels to grow to more than 21,000 in 2018 at a compounded annual growth rate of 4.6%. Basic DTH service subscribers are on their way to being matched by premium subscribers, as 114 million DTH subscribers are expected to grow to 209 million by 2018.