By 2018, the number of pay TV subscribers worlwide will reach 1 billion, which nearly 60 per cent will be in the top three countries.
The Digital TV Research forecasts that in 2018 China will have the most pay TV subscribers with 313 million subscriptions, while in second place is India with 158 million, and the third is the United States with 107 million subscribers. In 2018, these tops three countries are expected to account for 58 percent of world pay TV households.
Digital TV Research estimates that global analogue and digital pay TV penetration reached 53.6% at the end of 2012 and this is expected to rise to 63.1% by 2018, ranging from 86% in North America to 29% in the Middle East and Africa.
The global pay TV penetration leader in 2018 is expected to be the Netherlands, with close to 100% penetration. The others in the top 10 will be Denmark, Belgium, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Estonia.
Digital TV homes are expected to grow by 667 million between now and 2018 to reach 1.453 billion, with an additional 127 million households expected to migrate to digital this year. Global digital penetration is expected to rise from 54.7% at the end of 2012 to 92% by 2018. Cable is expected to account for 513 million digital homes by that date, followed by 363 million primary digital-terrestrial , including 16 million pay TV homes, 167 million pay IPTV homes, 251 million pay DTH homes and 143 million free-to-air DTH homes.