The latest findings from the Global Pay TV Subscriber Forecasts report from analyst firm Digital TV Research predict 35 million additional pay-TV subscribers between 2019 and 2025, taking the global total to 1.06 billion. Based on forecasts for 138 countries, the number of pay-TV subscribers passed 1 billion in 2018.
Excluding analogue cable TV, the firm suggests that digital pay-TV growth is “really impressive”, rocketing from 380 million subscribers in 2010 onto 990 million at end-2019 and on to 1.062 billion by 2025.
IPTV is the pay-TV winner. IPTV will add 84 million subscribers between 2019 and 2025 to take its total to 391 million. IPTV will increase its share of pay-TV subscribers from 30 per cent in 2019 to 37 per cent in 2025.
Satellite TV will lose 4 million subscribers between 2019 and 2025. Satellite TV will generate 20 per cent of pay-TV subscribers by 2025; down slightly from 21 per cent in 2019.
Cable TV will account for 40 per cent of all pay-TV subscribers by 2025, down from 47 per cent in 2019 and massively down from 74 per cent in 2010. There will be 430 million cable TV subs (both analogue and digital) by 2025, 101 million lower than the 531 million recorded in 2010.
There were still 38 million analogue cable TV subscribers by end-2019. However, it is not just analogue that is the problem for cable. Digital cable TV will lose subscribers – falling from 446 million at end-2019 to 429 million by 2025.
“Our forecasts are based on the assumption that professional sports will restart in August following relaxations in the Covid-19 lockdown,” advises Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research. “If this does not happen, then pay-TV will experience considerable churn.”