Indian pay-TV revenues are expected to rise by 10.6 percent this year to reach more than $10 billion, a new milestone for the industry, Media Partners Asia (MPA) reports.
MPA’s Asia Pacific Pay-TV Distribution 2017 report notes that the sector has picked up pace considerably since last year, which saw a growth rate of 6.3 percent. Cable remains the dominant platform with 67 percent of subs and 59 percent of subscription revenues. Cable revenues are set to grow by 7 percent this year to reach $3.6 billion. DTH will see a bigger boost of 13.6 percent, reaching $2.6 billion. Pay-TV ad revenues are expected to rise to $3.8 billion. MPA expects 5 million subs to be added this year for a total of 155 million subscribing homes. This number is forecast to rise to 173 million by 2022.
“India’s pay-TV market has been shaken and stirred by macroeconomic developments, from demonetization to tax reform, as well as structural shifts in the marketplace, notably TV ratings for rural areas as well as proposals for a new tariff regime from the regulator,” said Mihir Shah, VP of India for MPA. “That said, the market continues to offer scale and opportunities for monetization.”
Shah notes that ARPU remains low at just $3.4, rising to $3.8 by 2022. He adds, “Digitalization offers a major opportunity, not only to incumbent cable and DTH operators but also to new platforms such as DD Freedish. By the end of this year, there will still be 44 million analog cable homes in India that need to be upgraded to digital networks. We expect 77 percent of India’s pay-TV base to be digitalized by 2022. On-ground enforcement of the government’s cable digitalization program, together with more foreign direct investment as well as healthy primary and secondary capital markets, will also help drive digital subscriber growth.”
MPA sees India as being the fastest-growing pay-TV market in the Asia Pacific over the 2017 to 2022 forecast period. Revenues are expected to exceed $14 billion in 2022, with 45 percent of that coming from advertising.
China is the region’s largest pay-TV market, followed by India, Japan, Korea and Australia.