The multichannel market is changing rapidly on the back of growth in both authorised and unauthorised cable penetration. Today more than 8 million households receive satellite channels, mostly through local cable operators, which are predominantly analog, and thus limited in terms of the quality and quantity of channels they offer. An average cable operator offers between 60 and 100 channels; monthly subscriptions vary from US$2 to US$12; the higher end features digital cable channels, including a small number carrying video on demand).  Cable penetration is much higher in urban areas; Pakistan’s top 10 cities boasting numbers in excess of 80%.

The overall economic slowdown has led to reduced growth in TV advertising, which is keenly felt in light of the rapid growth experienced between 2006 and 2009. Until the flooding disaster in August 2010 the market was still growing at a respectable 10% and is now estimated to be worth over US$150 million. The biggest adspend category is telecom, followed by FMCGs.

According to TAM data (provided by Medialogic Pakistan), Indian entertainment channels continue to perform strongly with most cable operators and command the highest viewership share, led by Star Plus. Among local channels, the news genre is the biggest, with GEO News leading the segment. Owing to its terrestrial backbone, PTV Home commands the highest share of the local entertainment segment while GEO Entertainment remains the most popular on cable.

TV audience data is available from Gallup Pakistan which operates a national diary-based panel (which provides weekly reporting) and Medialogic Pakistan, which operates an urban TAM panel (overnight reporting).

Pakistan Actual %
Population 180,700,000
Total Homes 28,234,375
Household Size 6.4
TV Homes 21,100,000 75%
Multichannel Homes 11,100,000 52.6%
Internet Users 29,128,970 16.1%