1bn pay-TV subs by 2018

Global pay-tv households will reach nearly 1 billion by 2018, up from 772 million in 2012 and 814 million in 2013. According to the Digital TV World Household Forecasts report, the Asia Pacific region will contribute 59 per cent (587 million) of the global total by 2018.

Based on forecasts for 97 countries by Digital TV Research, China will have the most pay-tv subs, at 313 million by end-2018, followed by 158 million in India and 107 million in the US. These three countries will account for 58 per cent of global pay-tv households by 2018.

Pay-tv penetration (analogue and digital combined) reached 53.6 per cent of TV households by end-2012, and will rise to 55.7 per cent by end-2013 and 63.1 per cent by 2018. Penetration at end-2018 will range from 86 per cent in the US to 29 per cent in the Middle East and Africa. pay-tv penetration will remain highest in the Netherlands, at 99.5 per cent by end-2018.

The number of digital TV homes will increase by 667 million between 2012 and 2018 to 1,453 million. The digital TV total will climb by 127 million in 2013 alone. Global digital penetration of TV households will climb from 54.7 per cent at end-2012 to 62.5 per cent by end-2013 and on to 92.0 per cent by 2018.

Of the 667 million digital TV homes to be added between 2012 and 2018, 240 million will come from digital cable to take its total to 513 million. Primary FTA DTT (homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV) will acquire an additional 225 million – bringing its total to 363 million. Pay DTT will add 7 million to total 16 million. Pay IPTV will increase by 98 million to 167 million, with pay DTH up 73 million to 251 million and FTA DTH up 31 million to 143 million.

The universe is not static as 141 million TV households will be added between 2012 and 2018 to bring the total to 1,580 million. Of the additions, 95 million will come from the Asia Pacific region, of which 36 million will be in China and an extra 35 million in India.

There were still 652 million analog TV households by end-2012. However, this total will fall by 104 million in 2013 alone, with only 127 million remaining by 2018. Analogue penetration of TV households will drop from 45.3 per cent at end-2012 to only 8.0 per cent by 2018. There will be 77 million analogue terrestrial homes and 49 million analogue cable ones by end-2018.

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