Quarterly Television Monitoring
Recent acquisitions by Vivendi and News Corp. have contributed to significanlt impact their ranking in the Top-10 TV worldwide groups. Vivendi's takeover and integration of Poland's satellite TV operator "n", has contributed close to a million clients to the group’s total base. As a result, at end-2012, Vivendi posted about 14.3m subscribers boosting the company's rank from 7th place to 6th place. Meanwhile, News Corp. acquired an additional 25% stake in Australia’s Foxtel, bringing its ownership to 50%. The increase in stake has resulted in an increase in proportional subscribers by about 600,000 that propelled its ascent from rank 6 to 5. At end-2012, News Corp. posted about 14.5m total base.
The Essel Group also experienced an improvement in its ranking — from 9th to 8th place, overtaking Time Warner Cable — thanks to the steady growth of its CaTV and satellite TV subscriptions, especially in the relatively unsaturated Indian pay-TV market, which still provides significant growth opportunities. On the other hand, Time Warner Cable was impacted by that fact that its main market, the US, is quite saturated and shows limited growth opportunities as CaTV continues to contract.
DirecTV (1st, 32.5m subscribers), Comcast (2nd, 22m subscribers), MI&IT China (3rd, 21.8m subscribers), Liberty Global (4th, 18.7m subscribers) and BSkyB (10th, 10.3m) have retained their positions from the last quarter.
In the next quarters, more changes are to come. MI&IT China may possibly unseat Comcast in its 2nd position as the Chinese IPTV player is expected to continue its significant subscriber growth quarter-on-quarter while Comcast’s base continues to shrink due to the limited growth opportunity in the US market. Additionally, Essel could experience an accelerating subscriber growth as a result of the conversion into legal of many illegal cable TV connections, previously excluded in the subscriber count as widely unreported. The Indian government has mandated the digital switchover of all cable TV connections, thus newly bought digital STBs will be fully accounted/reported. CaTV providers who fail to meet the switchover deadline would be fined.
Note: Subscriber figures based on proportionate subscribers. Proportionate subscribers refer to the Group's subscribers based on the Group's interest. If the Group's ownership is more than 50%, then the company's full subscribers are attributed to the Group.