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Top pay TV operators ‘will add 200 million’

The world’s top 338 operators across 89 countries will increase their pay TV subscriptions by 200 million between 2014 and 2020, according to a new study.

Digital TV Research’s Global Pay TV Operator Forecasts report claims that the collective number of subscriptions for these operators will increase from 704 million in 2014 to 904 million by 2020.

However, subscription and VOD revenues for the 338 operators are expected to remain flat between 2014 and 2020 at US$183 billion (€248 billion).

The report predicts that China Radio & TV will hold on to its position as the world’s largest pay TV operator, accounting for 251.65 million subscribers in 2020 and soon representing “every cable TV home in China.”

In 2014, the top four pay TV operators by subscriber numbers were China Radio & TV, followed by European operator Liberty Global and then US operators Comcast and DirecTV, according to the study.

However, in 2020, Digital TV Research predicts that Chinese operators will hold the top three spots, with IPTV providers China Telecom and BesTV coming in second and third place respectively with 27.99 million and 25.12 million subscribers.

Liberty Global will fall to fourth place with an estimated 23.90 million subscribers, down from its 2014 figure of 24.34 million, said the research.

“Twelve operators from China and India will collectively add 130 million subscribers between 2014 and 2020,” said Digital TV Research.

“Global subscriber growth is all the more impressive as 79 (23%) of the 338 operators will lose subscribers between 2014 and 2020. Korea’s CJ Hellovision will lose the most (827,000 subs), followed by Germany’s Unitymedia (down by 592,000) and Romania’s RCS-RDS (down 477,000).

“Very broadly, pay TV operators in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets will see strong growth, with North America and Western Europe suffering.”