SES CEO Romain Bausch used the giant Washington Satellite 2013 show to unveil the satellite operator’s latest viewing numbers, saying that as at December 31st it reached some 276 million homes worldwide, up 17 million on the previous year. The growth was helped by “strong gains” in Germany and especially India.
India, in particular, saw a y-o-y gain of an impressive 7.5 million homes helped by buoyant demand at two of India’s leading DTH platforms, Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV which now reach 25 million homes from SES satellites.
The SES capacity in India is contracted through the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Indian DTH market is growing at a fast pace, said Bausch, with an average increase of more than 800,000 subscribers per month last year. In addition, the digitalisation of cable in India creates another growth driver for SES, with many households switching from cable to satellite, while Airtel is one of the fastest growing DTH operators in India and joined the SES platform in 2011.
Bausch explained that Germany has again significantly contributed to the growth of the satellite reach in 2012. The switch-off of the analogue satellite signals and the success of the HD platform HD+ have contributed to a further growth of the satellite reach by more than 500,000 to over 18 million homes in 2012.
In Europe, 85 million TV homes receive their signal from satellites, up from 84 million in 2011. Over the last four years, satellite has increased its reach in Europe by 17 per cent. Terrestrial and cable reception both slightly decreased year-on-year, from 79 million in 2011 to 78 million in 2012 for terrestrial homes and from 69 million to 68 million for cable homes in Europe. IPTV increased from 16 million to 17.5 million homes. With 43 per cent of all digital homes, satellite continues to be the leading digital TV infrastructure in Europe. The number of households watching satellite TV in HD quality continues to increase and reached 41 per cent of all satellite households. Astra serves 143 million European TV households (including indirect cable and IPTV reach), 73 per cent of all European satellite homes and 80 percent of all European satellite HD homes.
SES’s numbers come from the operator’s latest SES Satellite Monitor, an annual independent study of the market