According to the latest figures from Digital TV Research, the top 503 pay-TV operators will reach 853 million subscribers from the 1.02 billion global total by 2026.
The top 50 operators accounted for 64 percent of the world’s pay-TV subscribers at the end of2020, with this proportion poised to drop to 62 percent by 2026. The top 50 will lose 20 million subs over the next five years. However, operators beyond the top 100 will gain subscribers over the same period.
Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Most industries consolidate as they mature. The pay-TV sector is doing the opposite—fragmenting. Most of the subscriber growth will take place in developing countries where operators are not controlled by larger corporations.”
At the end of last year, 13 operators had more than 10 million pay-TV subscribers. China and India are expected to continue to dominate the top pay-TV operator rankings, as their subscriber bases climb and the U.S. operators lose subscribers.
Between 2020 and 2026, 307 of the 503 operators (61 percent) will gain subscribers, with 13 showing no change and 183 losing subscribers (36 percent). In 2020, 28 pay-TV operators earned more than $1 billion in revenues, but this will drop to 24 operators by 2026.