Global pay TV business grew 1.68% in the first quarter, according to the Multiscreen Index.
The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the fastest-growing market, with 5.35 million subscribers. India’s Airtel Digital TV added a big 619,000 in the first three months of the year to now total 11.73 million.
In Europe, France’s Canal+ lost the most of any European-based pay TV company, down 200,000. But two other French services, Orange and Free, collectively, added 234,000 subscribers.
In the U.S., pay TV continues to show weak or no growth. The 10 biggest pay TV providers netted just 18,000 subscribers more than the same period a year ago. But looking at year-to-year activity, U.S. providers were down 880,000.
A couple of notable major changes: Comcast added 53,000 subscribers for a total 22.4 million. DirecTV added 328,000 subscribers, totaling 20.11 million. This result is largely due to its purchase by AT&T, which witnessed a shift in its existing fiber TV based U-Verse. During the first quarter, U-Verse lost 382,000, now totaling 5.23 million.
Multiscreen Index says around 320 million homes -- over 80% of worldwide homes -- have access to some multiscreen viewing.
Multiscreen Index report tracks multichannel pay-TV operators around the world, measuring 100 satellite, cable and telco television and video services by their current digital subscription numbers.