Telco TV stretches well beyond IP

Jonathan Doran/Ovum
19 Jan 2012

Ovum’s new multichannel household and revenue forecast predicts steady growth overall, with newer IPTV and digital terrestrial distribution platforms spreading much faster than their mature cable and satellite counterparts.

To more accurately indicate the distinct opportunities for telecom and broadband operators we have added a telco TV dimension to the forecast, comprising projected numbers of connections and revenues from pay-TV services provided by telecom operators over all platforms.

Our findings show that telcos have a substantial share of the multichannel and pay-TV markets, one that is much larger than the IPTV segment with which they are typically associated. An additional line item estimates the number of homes with consumers viewing long-form video content over the Web. This reveals the potential for hybrid service developments that might create opportunities and expand the competitive playing field for both telcos and “traditional” pay-TV operators.

A preoccupation with the development of IPTV as a viable non-traditional business opportunity for telecom and broadband network operators can distract us from the fact that additional avenues are open to telcos seeking a foothold in the pay-TV market. It is important to remember that many operators already have significant experience in delivering TV via other platforms.

Our forecasts show an estimated 114 million global telco TV connections in 2011, rising to 163 million in 2016, with 54.5 million IPTV households in 2011, rising to 116 million in 2016. Telco TV offerings generated $28.3 billion during 2011, which accounted for a quarter of all global TV service revenues. However, IPTV accounted for less than half of the 2011 total, and this share will rise only to 60% by the end of the forecast period.

Today, a handful of sizeable legacy telco cable operations are still in existence (in Australia, Denmark, and South Korea, for example). Meanwhile a significant number of cable and satellite deployments have arisen in less-developed markets, where IPTV implementation has faced either financial constraints, as in Hungary and Romania, for example, or regulatory obstacles, as in South Korea and much of Latin America. This has delayed its development as an alternative TV platform, and driven telcos towards the established alternatives.

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