Current forecasts predict that the worldwide digital terrestrial TV market will grow significantly over the next five years, from an estimated 37 million households in 2006, to a forecast 131 million households by the end of 2011. Primarily driven by DTT uptake in Western European countries, the EMEA region has experienced the most success in DTT adoption, and is expected to comprise nearly 62% of worldwide DTT households by 2011, according to IMS Research.
According to analyst Mark Meza, “The success of DTT in Europe is due in large part to government and industry initiatives, a growing selection of content, and increasingly affordable set-top boxes. This success has created an opportunity for value-added paid DTT services, such as Top Up TV in the UK. Paid DTT services have a distinct advantage in markets where a free DTT service has been successful.”
Meza continued, “Standalone pay DTT services face greater challenges in establishing subscribers, often due to limited content offerings and pricing that is not competitive with other pay TV options. An example of this is the difficulty faced by USDTV, which recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after securing only about 10,000 subscribers in three years of operation, as well as early launches of pay-DTT in the UK.” With the continued growth expected for DTT worldwide over the next five years, IMS Research predicts an accompanying rise in value-added pay-DTT offerings.