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Analysts: Pay-TV market fragments as it matures

The top 50 pay-TV operators are predicted to lose 20 million subscribers over the next five years

The global pay-TV market is continuing to fragment, with analysts predicting the top 50 operators will see their share of the audience drop by 2026.

According to Digital TV Research, the top 50 operators will account for 62 per cent of the world’s pay-TV subscribers by 2026, down two per cent from 2020.

The top 50 will lose 20 million subscribers 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.”

Between 2020 and 2026, 307 of the leading 503 operators (61 per cent) will gain subscribers, with 13 showing no change and 183 losing subscribers (36 per cent), predict the analysts. 

In 2020, 28 pay-TV operators earned more than $1 billion in revenues, but this will drop to 24 operators by 2026.