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Ovum's Pay-TV Leaders and Telco TV Benchmark: 1H18 ranks 129 of the world's major providers of pay-TV services against 14 distinct success criteria. This report summarizes the headline indicators and key trends from the latest iteration of the benchmark.


  • Overall TV subscriber growth is slowing down, averaging at just 2% in 1H18 and 4% year on year. While operators' IPTV and OTT/mobile video bases are growing robustly, the more widely entrenched cable and satellite platforms – which still account for two thirds of pay-TV subscribers served by the operators benchmarked – are in steady decline.
  • The ability to grow video ARPU and revenue levels is constrained by the growing diversity of customer choices. Overall pay-TV revenue and ARPU growth levels remain flat and several market leaders (such as AT&T/DirecTV, Foxtel, Astro, and Mediaset) have suffered ARPU declines as a growing proportion of the base opts for lower-value channel packages, which they can supplement with increasingly popular OTT alternatives. Operators are fighting back against ARPU erosion through a range of measures aimed at raising customer spend on premium content and service options.
  • Some operators are shoring up customer expansion through OTT services, while others are driving ARPU growth. While some operators may take encouragement from take-up of their standalone OTT and mobile-first offerings – which significantly outstrips that of their traditional pay-TV services – they also face substantial ARPU erosion as a result of their diversification into lower-value product segments.

Features and Benefits

  • Ranks the world's leading pay-TV and telco TV players against 14 different success criteria.
  • Provides a comparison of leading operators' performance via a range of KPIs, including customer connections, pay-TV, OTT video penetration, TV ARPU/revenue, and TV contribution to total revenue.
  • Explores the growth in uptake of network operators' OTT video services.
  • Presents a snapshot of selected operators' content spending in relation to TV revenue.
  • Compares headline KPIs from 1H18 against those from 2H17.

Key questions answered

  • Which players and markets are demonstrating capacity for pay-TV subscriber and ARPU/revenue growth?
  • How significant is pay TV to a given players' overall business in terms of customer growth and retention and revenue generation?
  • What is behind operators' expansion of their video offerings through the provision of OTT services?
  • What are the roles of telco IPTV and integrated service providers' multiplay offerings within the pay-TV landscape?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Pay-TV Leaders and Telco TV Benchmark: 1H18 Highlights