Pay-TV Still Growing in Much of the World, Despite Cord Cutting in North America

November 18, 2021 Topic: Technology Region: Americas Blog Brand: Techland Tags: TelevisionEntertainmentStreamingTechnologyHollywood

Pay-TV Still Growing in Much of the World, Despite Cord Cutting in North America

Pay-TV is expected to continue to grow elsewhere, too, including in Eastern Europe.

While many video consumers in the United States, Canada and other parts of the world have been getting rid of pay-TV in droves for the past few years, the sector is growing on enough of the globe that overall growth will remain positive for now.  

“The global multichannel economy is modeled to generate $191.18 billion in video service revenues by the end of 2021, representing a 3.5% year-over-year decline compared to 2020, with losses exacerbated by declining annual video service revenues per user in North America,” according to a recent report by out by S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

But Pay-TV is expected to continue to grow elsewhere, including in Eastern Europe. The global number of subscribers to pay-TV is expected to grow everywhere but North America in the next five to ten years, per an analysis by Fierce Video. 

“Although cable remains the largest pay TV platform on a global scale, accounting for slightly over half of the total multichannel homes in 2021, its market share and the number of subscribers are expected to continue declining in the next five years, with subscriber losses concentrated in North America, Western Europe and Asia,” according to the report.

“This trend is expected to continue as global video service revenues decline at a negative 2.4% CAGR from 2020 to 2025 due to rapid pay TV household losses in the U.S. and Canada. Video service revenues are modeled to continue growing in other global regions, with Eastern Europe posting the highest CAGR in that time period at 3.9%,” per the report. 

Leitchman Research Group puts out a quarterly report, listing how many subscribers the major pay-TV providers in the United States had gained or lost in the last quarter, based on the companies’ public earnings reports.  

Leitchman has not yet released its third-quarter report about video subscribers, although it did issue its most recent report about broadband subscribers, finding that the major providers in the United States added a net total of 630,000 broadband subscribers in the third quarter of this year. The same companies had added a total of 1,525,000 subscribers in the third quarter of the pandemic year of 2020, which accelerated existing trends related to cord-cutting and broadband adoption.  

“Broadband additions returned to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2021,” Bruce Leichtman, the president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said via a press statement.  “The top broadband providers added significantly fewer subscribers than in last year’s third quarter, but had a similar number of net adds as in 3Q 2019 and 3Q 2018.” 

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for the National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. 

Image: Reuters