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Global Pay-TV Revenue to Fall $30B by 2026

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LONDON—Ten years after hitting its peak, global pay-TV revenues are expected to be at their lowest since prior to 2010, with an estimated total revenue of $143 billion by 2026. The numbers come from Digital TV Research’s “Global Pay-TV Revenue Forecasts” report.

In 2016, global pay-TV revenue was at $201 billion. That has decreased nearly $30 billion in recent years, as global pay-TV revenue was at $173 billion across 138 countries in 2020. Now, Digital TV Research estimates a drop of another $30 billion between 2020 and 2026, when the projected global pay-TV revenue is $143 billion.

This drop would occur even as the total number of global pay-TV subscribers is expected to have a net gain of 15 million subscribers by 2026.

For 2021 alone, Digital TV Research forecasts that global pay-TV revenue will drop by about $8 billion, with 2021 global pay-TV revenue estimated to be nearly $165 billion.

(Image credit: Digital TV Research)

The largest drop in revenue is coming from the U.S. After hitting a peak of $104 billion in 2015, the U.S. dropped to $80.3 billion in 2020. It is projected to lose another $6 billion in 2021 to $74.4 billion, and by 2026 see its pay-TV revenue fall to $57.4 billion.

Most other countries—77 of the 138 covered by Digital TV Research—are projected to also see less pay-TV revenue by 2026. One that is expected to see growth is India, which is projected to grow from $5 billion in 2020 to $5.6 billion in 2026.

In addition, global satellite TV revenues are expected to drop $16 billion, digital cable down $12 billion and analog cable down $2 billion.

For more information, visit Digital TV Research’s website.