The rapid changes in users’ video content viewing habits, starting with streaming, is upsetting pay-TV providers’ traditional role and forcing them to rethink their set-top box (STB) strategies.
Despite which, thanks to a demand for a unified customer experience, secured access to content and new smart home functions, these operators do have a host of strategic options to choose from, enabling them to remain key players and stay in the game.

This report explores STB market trends, and analyses seven operators’ product line and strategy.
It then identifies winning strategies for operators, based on their respective pros and cons.

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

2. State of the art and trends
2.1. How STB offers have evolved since the introduction of digital devices
2.2. Today’ STB: an insurance policy for operators…
2.3. … challenged by consumers’ changing viewing habits
2.4. …and increased competition from new entrants to the sector
2.5. Impact already being felt in several countries, especially in the US
2.6. What must future STBs deliver?

3. Benchmark of operators’ STB products
3.1. Altice France (SFR)
3.2. AT&T
3.3. BT
3.4. Comcast
3.5. Deutsche Telekom
3.6. Free
3.7. Orange
3.8. How the players are positioned on a content/pricing matrix

4. Operators’ STB strategies
4.1. Video content strategies
4.2. Volume strategies

List of tables and figures

List of tables and figures

2. State of the art and trends
• Number of STBs connected to the Internet worldwide
• How players along the STB value chain have evolved since the 2000s
• STB market growth by region (2019 – 2024)
• Progression of OTT subscriptions worldwide
• Progression of cord-cutters in the US between 2017 and 2022

3. Benchmark of operators’ STB-based products
• Progression of Altice France (SFR) revenue and subscriber numbers
• Progression of AT&T revenue and subscriber numbers
• Progression of BT revenue and subscriber numbers
• Progression of Comcast revenue and subscriber numbers
• Progression of Deutsche Telekom revenue and subscriber numbers
• Progression of Free revenue and subscriber numbers
• Progression of Orange revenue and subscriber numbers
• How the examined operators’ STBs are positioned according to their content and pricing strategy

Geographic area



  • Altice France (SFR)
  • AT&T
  • BT
  • Comcast
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Free
  • Orange

Other details

  • Reference: M19570MRA
  • Delivery: on the DigiWorld Interactive platform
  • Languages available: French, English
  • Tags: STB, pay-TV, set-top box, streaming, video content consumption, video content viewing, operator

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Operators’ STB strategies

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