Global Digital Households to Hit 1.3 Billion by 2017

Courtesy TV Guide
"Two and a Half Men"

Digital Penetration is forecast to climb to an 86.7 percent level from its current 48.6 percent with cable being the most popular delivery mode.

LONDON -- Based on forecasts for 80 countries -- including the US, China, the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Russia -- the number of digital TV homes will double between 2011 and 2017 to 1.3 billion, according to a report from Digital TV Research.

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The data projects, published in the Digital TV World Household Forecasts Report, estimates that global digital penetration will climb from the 48.6 percent at end of 2011 to 86.7 percent by 2017.

Of the 648 million digital TV households to be added between 2011 and 2017, 440 million (68 percent) 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.

The report also notes which method of digital delivery will dominant.

Of the 648 million digital TV homes to be added between 2011 and 2017, 259 million will come from digital cable.

Primary free-to-air digital terrestrial television (FTA DTH) -- homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, direct-to-home (DTH) or IPTV -- will bring in a further 174 million, with pay DTT adding five million.

Pay IPTV will increase by 114 million, with pay DTH up 66 million and FTA DTH 31 million.

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Report author Simon Murray said: “There were still 714 million analog TV households (both terrestrial and cable, with a few analog DTH ones) at of at the end of 2011. However, this total will fall to 202 million by end-2017. Analog penetration will drop from 51.4% at end-2011 to 13.3% by end-2017."

There will be 140 million analog terrestrial homes and 62 million analog cable ones by end-2017, the report indicates.

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 percent of the world’s TV households, with analog cable still serving 4.1 percent of TV homes.

Pay digital DTH penetration will be 14.4%, with FTA digital DTH accounting for percent.

Pay IPTV penetration will climb to 10.8 percent, up from only 3.7 percent at end-2011.

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About 16.7 percent of homes will be primary FTA DTT at end-2016, with 0.9 percent pay DTT. Analog terrestrial TV will be taken by 9.2 percent of the world’s TV households, down from 31.8 percent at end-2011.