Pay TV to Reach 1 Billion Households Worldwide by 2018 (Study)

Projections from Digital TV Research predict growth in the U.S., but particular strength in China, Russia and India.

LONDON -- The number of pay TV households around the world will reach nearly one billion by 2018, up from 772 million in 2012 and 814 million in 2013, according to a report from the U.K. based analyst Digital TV Research. The Asia Pacific region will contribute 59 percent, or 587 million of the global tally by 2018, the firm said. 

Based on forecasts for 97 countries by Digital TV Research, China will have the most pay TV subscribers at 313 million by the end of 2018.

Digital TV Research chief Simon Murray said China had 232.8 million pay TV households at the end of 2012.

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India will be the second-biggest global market for pay TV with158 million households by 2018 compared to 116.7 million at the end of 2012.

And the U.S. is projected to hit 107 million by 2018, up from the 100 million in 2012.

Germany will reach 23.1 million in five years time, up from 2012's tally of 21.8 million, while the U.K., with 14.4 million in 2012 is predicted to rise to 16.3 million, according to the research report.

Other big players emerging will be Russia with 32.3 million pay-TV households up and running by 2018, from 23.6 million in 2012. And Brazil's total is expected to hit 30.5 million, up from 2012's 16.2 million.

Japan is also expected to make a modest gain, reaching 27 million by 2018 from 25.1 million in 2012.

The research indicated that pay TV penetration (analog and digital combined) reached 53.6 percent of TV households in 2012, and will rise to 55.7 percent by the end of 2013, and 63.1 percent by 2018.

Penetration across the globe in 2018 is forecast to range from 86 percent in North America to 29 percent in the Middle East and Africa.

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Pay TV penetration will remain highest in the Netherlands, at 99.5 percent in 2018, the report indicates.

The rises will come on the back of an increase in the number of digital TV homes globally, which is set to add 667 million between 2012 and 2018 to 1.45 billion. The digital TV total will climb by 127 million in 2013 alone.

Of the 667 million digital TV homes to be added by 2018, 240 million will come from digital cable to take its total to 513 million. Primary free-to-air digital terrestrial television [homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV] will acquire an additional 225 million – bringing its total to 363 million.

And pay digital terrestrial television will add seven million to reach a total 16 million.

Pay IPTV will also increase, rising 98 million to 167 million, with pay DTH up 73 million to 251 million and FTA DTH up 31 million to 143 million.