Worldwide pay-TV subscriber base rose 6 percent to 886.5 million, generating $62.6 billion service revenue in the third quarter.
Growth driver is emerging markets.
Pay-TV subscriber base in Western Europe grew less than 2 percent in Q3. Pay-TV service providers in Spain and Italy lost over 7 percent and 2 percent of their total subscriber base compared to a year ago.
Operators blame the weak economic environment for declining subscriber counts. Other markets, such as France, Germany and UK, contributed to regional market growth. Net additions in IPTV subscribers are the prime driver of pay-TV regional growth; other pay-TV platforms saw marginal increases.
ABI Research estimates the IPTV subscriber base in Western Europe increased 1.9 million in Q3 2013 from Q3 2012.
In North America, pay-TV subscribers dropped less than 1 percent), due to contracting subscriber counts in the cable TV sector. Cable TV operators in North America lost around 1.7 million subscribers in the last year. In terms of pay-TV service revenue, North America grew nearly 3 percent from 3Q 2012.
ABI Research forecasts the global pay-TV subscriber base will eclipse 1 billion by 2018, generating service revenue of $229.6 billion. BRIC countries will account for 68 percent of total net additional subscribers by 2018.