Advanced Television

Research: US DTH growth slows

February 4, 2011

North American satellite pay-TV providers have not been adding subscribers at the same rate as previous years, according to In-Stat.  Competition has been fierce from cable and telco providers offering bundled services and gains in subscribers as a result of being the video portion of telco triple play offers, have mostly run their course.  In Europe, the market will be impacted by less need for set top boxes, because more TV sets have integrated satellite tuners and CI+ slots.  As a result, shipments of satellite set top boxes declined in 2010 by 8 per cent in both the North American and Western European regions.

“The decline in North America shipments moving forward will be a result of a movement to residential media servers, first by DirecTV, and then by other providers,” says Michelle Abraham, Principal Analyst.  “The move to IP clients will impact Europe as well, though multi-room penetration is much lower, so the impact on shipments will be lower. Markets like Latin America and the Mid-East/Africa regions will see the highest growth percentages as rising household incomes and lower cost pay-TV packages will enable more satellite pay-TV subscriber growth in those markets.”

Research findings include:

– Saturation in some satellite markets will result in a stall in satellite set top box unit shipments for the pay-TV market.
– The switch from connecting a satellite set top box to every TV for satellite viewing to using IP clients will impact the satellite box market.
– HD and DVR boxes continue to gain at the expense of SD boxes.
– Both Colombia and Argentina plan to launch satellite services to complete their DTT coverage.
– The worldwide satellite HD box forecast shows growth each year through 2014 with the exception of 2011 as a result of DirecTV’s use of IP set top boxes.

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