Pay TV shows its resilience by rising to multiple challenges

The pay TV sector is under pressure on multiple fronts. Over-the-top (OTT) video services are growing impressively, giving rise to speculation about the depth of the ‘cord-cutting’ phenomenon. Rival entertainment sources are becoming increasingly sophisticated and offering competition for pay TV eyeballs, while free-to-air traditional TV alternatives are also becoming more attractive.

All of this is against a background of a global recession that is reducing disposable incomes and potentially putting pay TV subscriptions at risk. But the signs for pay TV remain very positive and all of these factors are doing little to prevent growth of digital pay TV services. About 75 million digital pay TV subscriptions will be added in 2011, bringing the global total to 445 million. This trend will continue – with 766 million forecast worldwide by 2016.