InfoCom Says Global Top-10 Paid-for TV Groups Secure Ranks Despite Decreasing Subscribers

US DirectTV still world's largest provider - Carriers experiencing decreasing subscriber base in mature markets - Indian Essel and MII China encounter strong growth - Top-3 groups to retain leadership in the next years.

Stuttgart, Germany, September 14, 2011 --( DirecTV, the US-based carrier, continues to lead the ranking of the World largest paid-for TV* providers by serving nearly 28m subscribers (2Q11). This is revealed by InfoCom's latest release of the World Top-10 paid-for TV* group ranking. While, in total, the top-10 paid-for TV* groups increased their subscriber base by 2% YoY, translating to more than 145m customers (2Q11), DirecTV grew over the average at 10% YoY, as a result of a steady growth in domestic and overseas (Latin America, Brazil and Mexico) operations.

Other US-based groups trail behind DirectTV, that is, Comcast (2nd), Dish Network (4th) and Time Warner Cable (6th). Multi-platform groups led by Liberty Global (3rd), News Corporation (5th) and Vivendi (7th) remained strong through their operations in European and Asian markets. Likewise, News Corporation and Vivendi were able to maintain a spot in the ranking thanks to their successful multi-platform operations in different countries, which collectively added an average of 8% subscribers YoY. An InfoCom analyst in Manila commented: “It should be noted, though, that the increase in News Corporation’s subscribers is mostly due to its increased share ownership in its German subsidiary, Sky Deutschland, and is not merely an organic growth.”

The Indian group Essel and MII China have been experiencing the fastest growth among the groups in the ranking. Essel — operating in India through 2 providers — grew 39% YoY, mostly thanks to its Dish TV subsidiary, while MII China grew 21% YoY thanks to an accelerating pay-TV take-up of China Telecom.

Some US top players experienced declining subscriber base. Comcast and Time Warner Cable, for instance, had an average decline of 3% (YoY, 2Q10-2Q11), a result of cord-cutting — dropping of CaTV subscriptions for cheaper alternatives like free-to-air or over-the-top services. The same trend was experienced by second-ranked satellite TV provider, Dish Network — with a 2%-fall (YoY), ending the quarter with 14m subscribers — as well as Liberty Global (17m subscribers) with shrinking operations in mature European markets such as Germany, where CaTV is generally challenged by satellite TV or IPTV.

InfoCom expects the top-3 groups (DirecTV, Comcast and Liberty Global) to retain their leadership in the next years. Liberty Global is expected to further strengthen its hold on the 3rd spot upon completing the acquisition of Poland’s Aster City Cable. India’s Essel will most likely step up a notch – switching places with BSkyB – as Dish TV is expected to continue to experience faster growth.

*InfoCom Top-10 pay-TV Monitoring service monitors paid-for monthly contractual subscriptions to TV packages and services from providers using four distribution platforms — broadband Internet (IPTV), cable, satellite and terrestrial, including both pay-TV as well as basic subscriptions to cable TV.

About Quarterly Monitoring Service TV Scenarios: This extract in based on InfoCom Top-10 pay-TV Monitoring, providing up-to-date World TV market data for the largest TV providers of the World. The service provides figures broken down by subsidiary and by country, consolidated then with effective and ready-to-use graphs. If you wish to know more about InfoCom, do not hesitate to contact us. Talk to us. We listen.

About InfoCom: InfoCom is a market research and consultancy company with over 20 years experience providing strategic analyses and planning assistance to stakeholders in the telecommunications, IT and multimedia industries. InfoCom’s independent and fact-based analyses highlight trends and opportunities, supporting decision makers to understand market dynamics in order to improve their competitive advantage.

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