Telco, Internet TV chip away at cable TV market share, says ABI Research

New market data from ABI Research reveals North American and Western European cable TV operators faced subscriber losses last year resulting from the availability of Telco TV and online television.

The data, presented in “Pay-TV Subscriber Market Data,” show that while cable TV still garners the greatest market share worldwide, its relative share of pay TV subscriptions declined from 72 percent in 2009 to 69 percent last year.

Emerging markets in Latin America and elsewhere, however, continue to grow. In Brazil where there is limited cable TV availability, a new plan from the national telecom regulator aims to drive cable TV penetration to 10 percent this year, ABI Research said. Currently, of Brazil’s 59 million households, 17 percent subscribe to some pay-TV service.

The switch off of analog television service around the world also is having an impact. According to ABI Research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn, the availability of new digital TV platforms will give viewers more television viewing choices and impact the pay-TV market.

“Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels and high-definition (HDTV) channels are gaining popularity in pay-TV markets,” Lynn said. “ABI Research expects that there will be more than 230 million high-definition TV subscriptions across different platforms at the end of 2011.”