According to Digital TV Research’s Global Pay TV Operator Forecasts report, the top 100 operators accounted for three-quarters of the world’s pay-TV subscribers by end-2015, and this proportion is not expected to change over the next five years.
Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “By end-2015, 12 operators had more than 10 million paying subscribers, and this will climb to 18 operators by 2021. However, the number of operators with more than 5 million subscribers will stay at 29.”
Pay-TV subscriptions for the world’s top 400 operators with 585 platforms across 100 countries are expected to increase from a collective 778 million in 2015 to 912 million by 2021. These operators took 84 percent of the 928 million global subscribers by end-2015, with this level expected to inch up to 85 percent of the 1.08 billion by 2021. Only 93 (23 percent) of the 400 operators will lose subscribers between 2015 and 2021.
Murray added: “Despite adding 147 million subscribers between 2015 and 2021, subscription and VOD revenues for the 400 operators will remain flat at $206 billion. These operators accounted for 83 percent of the global total in 2015, but this proportion will fall to 80 percent by 2021. In fact, 115 of the 400 operators (29 percent) will lose subscription and PPV revenues between 2015 and 2021.”
China Radio & TV is the world’s largest pay-TV operator by a wide margin, with 239 million subs by end-2015. The operator will soon represent every cable TV home in China, with 251 million subscribers expected by 2021. China Telecom ranks second, with 22.9 million, followed by three U.S. operators: Comcast (22.3 million), DirecTV (19.8 million) and the newly merged Charter (17 million).