The growth of pay television continues, as providers embrace multiscreen services to offer subscribers more viewing options. The Multiscreen Index published by informitv shows a 1.4% increase in digital television subscriber numbers across 100 leading pay-television services around the world in the first quarter of 2014. They collectively gained 4.17 million video customers over three months and 17.43 million year on year, an increase of 5.2%.

The 100 multichannel pay-TV services in the Multiscreen Index cover over 30 countries and represent around 330 million subscribing homes worldwide.

Services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa gained the most subscribers, led by Tricolor in Russia, adding 340,000 in three months.

Satellite services made the greatest gains over the quarter, just ahead of telco networks, while operators in India accounted for most of the gains for cable.

65% of pay-TV services in the Index now deliver to multiple screens in addition to the traditional television, including phones, tablets and other network-connected devices.

“The informitv Multiscreen Index shows continued growth in pay-TV subscriptions worldwide,” says Dr William Cooper, the founder and chief executive of informitv. “Across the hundred services in the Index, net subscriber gains far exceed net losses.”

Two thirds of services in the Index reported net subscriber gains. The ten services with the largest gains added 2.45 million video customers over the quarter. The ten reporting the largest losses collectively lost 0.28 million video customers in three months.

The multiscreen tracker, a selection of ten of the leading services in each of the three major regions covered, showed an an overall increase of 733,560 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2014.

Multiscreen tracker
Service Change
733,560 95.44
Comcast 24,000 22.60
DIRECTV 12,000 20.27
Dish TV 200,000 11.40
Sky 74,000 10.61
Free 71,000 5.71
AT&T U-verse 200,000 5.64
Rostelecom cable -21,186 5.30
KT Olleh TV 189,746 5.16
KDDI cable -15,000 5.00
Virgin Media -1,000 3.75
Rostelecom excludes telco; KDDI includes JCN and J:COM; KT excludes satellite only subscribers.

The reported gains do not include substantial growth for services in China, for which reliable figures are unavailable.

The top ten services in the United States that report subscriber numbers added 314,300 digital video customers in the first quarter of 2014. Strong gains by the telco networks over the year offset losses by some cable companies. The planned mergers of Comcast with Time Warner Cable and AT&T with DIRECTV will lead to a greater disparity between the major providers and smaller operators.

The Multiscreen Index tracks trends in television services and provides an accessible compilation of top ten tables and charts showing annual and quarterly changes in subscriber numbers. The figures are based exclusively on the most recent customer data provided by operators rather than analyst estimates. The latest issue includes subscriber numbers at the end of March 2014.