The worldwide number of pay television subscribers reported by informitv's Multiscreen Index rose by 6.9 million or 1.7% in the first quarter of 2016.
Three in five (60%) of the 100 leading pay-TV services in the latest index report showed net subscriber gains in the quarter.
The greatest quarterly subscriber gains were in the Asia-Pacific region, where there were 5.35 million subscriber additions. Six operators in India added a total of 4.71 million between them, with SITI Cable Network reporting 1.1 million new digital subscribers.
The 10 services with the largest quarterly subscriber losses had just under a million fewer television customers between them. They were headed by AT&T U-verse, which shed 382,000 subscribers, although these losses were almost matched by gains of 328,000 for satellite subsidiary DIRECTV.
The top 10 services from the United States in the index closed the first quarter with just 18,000 subscribers more than at the start of the year, but they were down by over 880,000 year-on-year.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Sky and BT added 136,000 television subscribers, while Virgin Media and TalkTalk lost 21,000.
Canal+ in France lost the most subscribers in Europe, with its numbers declining by 200,000. Orange and Free added 234,000 subscribers in France.
Also, 81% of around 400 million homes subscribing to the services covered by the index now have access to some form of multiscreen viewing. The actual adoption and usage of multiscreen services is much lower.
“North, Central and South America still contribute over a third of the subscribers in the index,” said informitv analyst Sue Farrell. “They gained just 0.54 million subscribers, compared to 1.41 million in the first quarter a year ago.”
“The Multiscreen Index shows an overall gain in subscribers, with more services gaining rather than losing television subscribers,” said the editor of the report William Cooper. “Although mature markets like North America are relatively saturated, it shows that there is still room for growth in other regions.”