Report: Global digital TV driven by China


BRUSSELS -- China is driving the growth of global digital television, accounting for a quarter of all digital TV households by 2012, according to a forecast released Friday.

More than 264 million digital homes will be added between the end of 2007 and the end of 2012, more than double the current total, with China accounting for 60 million of the extra homes.

The figures were published by Informa Telecoms & Media in its 400-page Global Digital TV report.

Other significant rises will come in the U.S., with 39 million more digital TV households; in Japan (20 million) and India (23 million). These four countries combined will account for 54% of additional digital households.

By 2012, 43% of the world's TV homes will receive digital signals.

"Digital growth will accelerate as the decade progresses, especially outside North America and Western Europe," the report said.

The report predicts that by 2012, this will amount to 504 million homes with digital television: 97 million will be using digital terrestrial TV (DTT); 249 million will have cable; 120 million will have satellite; and 37 million will have IPTV.

But 2012 will not see the end of the process.

"By 2012, most of Western European and North American homes will receive digital TV signals," said Informa's principal analyst Simon Murray. "However, there will still be 668 million analog homes across the globe -- indicating that there is still significant room for expansion beyond that forecast date."

Already by the end of 2007 there will be a surge in digital TV: nearly 54 million digital TV households will be added, bringing the global total to 239 million, the report said. Over half of the new digital households, 28 million, will be through digital cable subscriptions.

Satellite delivery will account for 36% of the total, or 87 million homes; IPTV will have account for 10 million; and DTT 47.8 million.

The report forecasts that digital penetration of TV households will reach 22% by year-end, with the North American penetration rate exceeding 68% and Western Europe at 52%. A further 52 million digital homes will be added to the total in 2008.