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Cord-cutting remains non-factor in North American digital TV market, says report

Cord-cutting, the decision by a consumer to cancel a pay TV subscription service in favor of online viewing, as of today has not made an impact on the pay TV market in North America, according to a new Strategy Analytics report.

The report, "North America Digital Television Forecast: 1H'12," finds that while the mix of subscribers has changed over the past few years, the total subscriber base for pay TV service has continued to growth.

Digital subscriptions, the research organization forecasts, will climb from 114 million in 2011 in North America to 129 million in 2016, a five-year compound annual growth rate of 2.36 percent.

"Cord cutting could still have an impact on the pay TV market, so we keep a close eye on the trends and activities of pay TV consumers," said Jason Blackwell, director, Service Provider Strategies (SPS) at Strategy Analytics. "However, without a competitive level of content, alternative services have yet to offer a compelling alternative to the traditional pay TV channel lineup."

According to the forecast, the cable market will experience a decline in subscribers; however, digital cable subscribers, which totaled 49 million in 2011, will grow to nearly 54 million by 2016. Digital satellite and IPTV services will continue to reap the benefits of this changing market, with the latter growing from 8 million subscribers in 2011 to 20 million in 2016, the report said.