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RESEARCH: 1.3bn digital TV households by 2017

July 3, 2012

Based on forecasts for 80 countries, the number of digital TV homes will double between 2011 and 2017 to 1.323 billion, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. The Digital TV World Household Forecasts report estimates that global digital penetration will climb from 48.6 per cent at end-2011 to 86.7 per cent by 2017.

Of the 648 million digital TV homes to be added between 2011 and 2017, 259 million will come from digital cable. Primary FTA DTT [homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV] will bring in a further 174 million, with pay DTT adding 5 million. Pay IPTV will increase by 114 million, with pay DTH up 66 million and FTA DTH 31 million.

According to Simon Murray, report author, there were still 714 million analogue TV households (both terrestrial and cable, with a few analogue DTH ones) by end-2011. “However, this total will fall to 202 million by end-2017. Analogue penetration will drop from 51.4 per cent at end-2011 to 13.3 per cent by end-2017,” he advised.

There will be 140 million analogue terrestrial homes and 62 million analogue cable ones by end-2017. However, digital cable subscriptions will reach 494 million homes, followed by 220 million pay digital DTH and 139 million free-to-air digital DTH. Pay IPTV will contribute another 165 million households, up from only 51 million at end-2011.

Meanwhile, FTA (free-to-air) DTT homes will reach 291 million, with pay DTT generating a further 15 million.

Digital cable will be the most popular TV platform by end-2017, accounting for 32.4 per cent of the world’s TV households, with analogue cable still serving 4.1 per cent of TV homes. Pay digital DTH penetration will be 14.4 per cent, with FTA digital DTH accounting for 9.1 per cent. Pay IPTV penetration will climb to 10.8 per cent, up from only 3.7 per cent at end-2011. About 16.7 per cent of homes will be primary FTA DTT at end-2016, with 0.9 per cent pay DTT. Analogue terrestrial TV will be taken by 9.2 per cent of the world’s TV households, down from 31.8 per cent at end-2011.

Of the 648 million digital TV households to be added between 2011 and 2017, 440 million (68 per cent) will be in the Asia Pacific region, bringing its total to 714 million. China became the largest digital TV household nation in 2010, and will boast 417 million digital homes by end-2017. Second-placed India will overtake the US in 2017.

Global digital penetration will reach 87 per cent by end-2017, up from 49 per cent at end-2011. Regional penetration at end-2017 will vary from 100 per cent in North America to 76 per cent in Latin America. However, Latin America and Asia Pacific will record strong conversion to digital. By 2017, 47 countries will be completely digital compared with only Finland and Spain at end-2011.

Pay-TV penetration (analogue and digital combined) reached half of the world’s TV households by end-2010, and will rise to 63 per cent by end-2017. Penetration at end-2017 will range from 87 per cent in North America to 22 per cent in the Middle East and Africa. Pay-TV penetration will remain highest in the Netherlands, at 99.5 per cent by end-2017. However, China will have the most pay-TV subs, at 315 million by end-2017, followed by India with 145 million.

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