Home >Industry >Media >India’s pay-TV market to touch $18 billion by 2025: report

New Delhi: India’s pay-television industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% to touch $14.5 billion in revenue by 2021 compared to $ 9.4 billion in 2016.

By 2025, the pay-TV industry will reach $18 billion in revenue, said Hong Kong-based global media research and consulting firm Media Partners Asia (MPA) in its new report titled Asia Pacific Pay-TV and Broadband Markets 2016 released on Thursday. Pay-TV channels (like Colors, Sony and Star Plus) are subscription-based channels for which the consumers have to pay.

MPA’s projections indicate that the total number of subscribers who include subscribers of analog cable TV, digital cable TV and Direct-to-home services will rise to 183 million by 2025 from 152 million in 2016.

By 2025, 70% of India’s pay-TV base is estimated to be digitized, growing from 93 million subscribers to 129 million from 2016 to 2025 in the light of digital addressable system (DAS) being implemented by the government.

Vivek Couto, executive director at MPA said, “Future economic growth should remain strong which will support solid gains in the pay-TV industry. Digitalizing India’s 65 million analog subscribers remains a major opportunity for cable, DTH and other emerging pay-TV platforms."

According to the Information & Broadcasting ministry, nearly 41 million set-top boxes have been seeded in Phase 3 areas and Phase 4 digitization is due in December 2016. The government has completed Phase 3 of digitization barring few states which have demanded extension in the deadline.

The ongoing cable digitization is expected to facilitate a gradual increase in pay-TV monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) from $3.3 in 2016 to $4.5 in 2025.

Rajesh Kaul, president, distribution and sports business at Sony Pictures Network said that the growth in the pay-TV market is inevitable. “Indian pay-TV market has one of the lowest ARPUs and platforms are trying to increase ARPUs with new packages.

“With the overall market size increasing, we are hoping that pay broadcasters will start getting a fair-share in the revenue which we have not been getting," he said.

According to the report, despite cable remaining pay-TV’s largest platform, its share of pay-TV subscribers is expected to decline to 60% in 2025 from 68% in 2016, as DTH will attract the majority of new subscribers.

Saurabh Dhoot, executive director at the DTH firm Videocon d2h said that the biggest opportunity of digitisation is in the phase 3 and phase 4 markets as the cable penetration is very low in these areas. However, “digitization in these areas would require massive capital expenditure which is the big challenge. DTH players in India are best placed in such markets to complete the digitization process," he added.

The report further adds that the advertising revenues from pay-TV channels will see a growth of 15% in 2016 as compared to 2015 reaching $3.4 billion.

As of 31 March, there were 263 pay-TV channels in India, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

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