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Most Pay TV Operators Around the World Will Add Customers Over Next Five Years

(Image credit: Digital TV Research)

The status of the global pay-TV market over the next few years depends on where operators currently stand, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. Those among the top global operators are expected to see negative or flat growth, while those outside the top 50 are projected to gain subscribers and increase revenue.

According to Digital TV Research, of the 502 operators across 135 countries that make up the Global Pay-TV Operator Forecast, two-thirds will gain subscribers between 2019 and 2025, while 59% are expected to increase their revenue over the same period.

At the end of 2019, Digital TV Research says that the top 50 pay-TV operators accounted for 46% of the world’s pay-TV subscribers. But over the next five years, the forecast has the top 10 operators losing subscribers and the other 40 in the top 50 remaining flat, while those outside those top spots are expected to gain subscribers.

For those outside the top 50, Digital TV Research projects eight will add at least 1 million subscribers by 2025; leading operators will be China Unicorn (19.96 million projected new subscribers) and China Telecom (18.52 million). The report also forecasts eight operators will lose 1 million or more subscribers—the largest is expected to be China Radio and TV (37 million subscribers lost), but the next five are all companies from the U.S.

While there will be wide ranging swings of losses and gains, Digital TV Research sees growth for the global pay-TV market. “By end-2019, 13 operators had more than 10 million paying subscribers,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research. “This will reach 14 operators by 2025.”

This story was originally published in Next TV sibling publication TV Technology.