Global pay TV to reach 1.9bn by 2016

The number of digital TV households worldwide will double between 2010 and 2016 to reach 1.189 billion, according to a report from Digital TV Research.

The report estimates that penetration of digital TV services will climb from 42.5 per cent at the end of 2010 to 80 per cent by 2016, at which point 33 countries will be completely digital, compared with only one (Finland) at the end of last year.

Although there were still be around 780 million analogue TV households (both terrestrial and cable, with a small number of analogue DTH) by the end of 2010, this total will fall to 297 million by the end of the forecast period. Analogue penetration is expected to drop from 57.5 per cent at the end of 2010 to 20 per cent by the end of 2016.

In terms of platforms, there are predicted to be 220 million analogue terrestrial TV homes and 77 million analogue cable ones at the end of 2016. However, digital cable subscribers will reach 458 million homes, followed by 195 million pay digital DTH and 119 million free-to-air digital DTH. Pay IPTV is forecast to contribute another 155 million households, up from just 35 million at the end of 2010. Meanwhile, free-to-air DTT homes will reach 248 million, with pay DTT generating a further 13 million.

Out of the 613 million digital TV households to be added between 2010 and 2016, 388 million are expected to be in the Asia Pacific region, bringing its total to 607 million. China became the largest digital TV household nation in 2010, and will have around 352 million digital TV homes by the end of 2016, according to the report.

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