Advanced Television

Global digital TV penetration reaches 50%

June 27, 2012

About 370 million digital homes were added around the world between end-2007 and end-2011 – or an average of 93 million more digital homes each year, according to a report from Digital TV Research. The Digital TV World Databook estimated that this took the digital TV household total for the 80 countries covered in the report to 675 million.

Simon Murray, author of the report, said: “Half the world’s TV households now receive digital signals. Digital TV penetration climbed from 23.5 per cent at end-2007 to 48.5 per cent by end-2011.”

He added: “However, there were still 714 million analogue TV households (mostly terrestrial and cable, with a few analogue DTH ones) by end-2011. This total was down from 989 million at end-2007.”

There were still 442 million analogue terrestrial homes (down by 56 million year-on-year), 270 million analogue cable ones (down by 17.5 million) and 2 million analogue DTH at end-2011.

However, digital cable was in 235 million homes (up by 38 million on end-2010), followed by 154 million pay digital DTH (up by 15 million) and 109 million free-to-air digital DTH. Pay IPTV brought in another 51 million households (up by 16 million). Meanwhile, FTA [free-to-air] DTT homes reached 117 million (up by 20 million), with pay DTT generating a further 9.5 million.

Of the digital homes added between 2007 and 2011, 75 million came from primary DTT [homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV]. Digital cable contributed a further 146 million, pay DTH 63 million, with pay IPTV providing an additional 43 million.

Analogue terrestrial was still the most popular platform at end-2011, accounting for 31.8 per cent of the world’s TV households, with analog cable second at 19.5 per cent. Digital cable was the most popular digital platform, securing 16.9 per cent of TV households. Pay digital DTH was next at 11.1 per cent, followed by FTA digital DTH with 7.8 per cent. About 8.4 per cent of homes were primary FTA DTT, with 0.7 per cent pay DTT. Pay IPTV penetration reached 3.7 per cent at end-2011, up from only 0.6 per cent at end-2007.

Of the 370 million digital TV households added between 2007 and 2011, 194 million were in the Asia Pacific region, bringing its total to 274 million. China became the largest digital TV household nation in 2010, rising to 149 million digital TV homes (22 per cent of the world’s total) by end-2011.

Global digital TV penetration reached 49 per cent by end-2011, up from only 24 per cent at end-2007. Regional penetration at end-2011 varied from 89 per cent in North America to 33 per cent in Latin America. Only Spain and Finland were completely digital by end-2011.

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