Mainstream broadcasters are in the best position to take advantage of the growing over-the-top (OTT) TV sector, according to trend forecasting by accountancy firm Deloitte.

OTT refers to TV delivered via the internet, “over-the-top” as opposed to services controlled by TV channels through set-top boxes or other connections.

Deloitte noted that many broadcasters provided OTT services, and brand loyalty would ensure that mainstream players dominated the market: “Most viewers are likely to remain faithful to the broadcasters and programmes they have watched in previous years, so long as those broadcasters continue to provide the type, quality and quantity of programmes that viewers like.

“Viewers will likely remain averse to new sources of content in 2013, due to the opportunity cost of taking time to watch a programme they may not enjoy.”

The company also pointed out that viewers would mostly use broadcasters’ OTT services to catch up on missed broadcast programmes, with the majority downloaded or streamed within a week of broadcast. It said that mainstream broadcasters would continue to heavily promote their OTT brands regularly through their conventional schedule, reinforcing market dominance.

Deloitte summarised that in 2013, OTT would still comprise a small percentage of total viewing, even though it is now “a standard and occasional means of accessing TV content” it is “important, but not core.”

But it also warned broadcasters not to lose sight of growing coverage and influence of OTT services from companies that were not content producers or standalone OTT providers. In addition it flagged up the broadband speeds and bandwidth issues to come, as OTT HD and ultimately 4K (Ultra HD) became the norm.